Drivers left confused by 20 per cent of road signs

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More than 20 per cent of British road signs leave drivers at a loss, new research by Kwik Fit has revealed.

That's right, the average driver on UK roads only recognizes 79 per cent of the road signs they see on a daily basis, and two in five drivers have suffered problems on the road as a result.

Amongst these problems are breaking the speed limit (16%), braking suddenly (15%) and having to slow down, causing traffic to build up (9%).

The UK's largest automotive servicing and repair company surveyed 2,000 adults last month on a host of signs and markings popular in the UK.

One of the most shocking discoveries was that only one in ten drivers recognized the central white line markings which indicate a hazard ahead, while the vast majority (66%) believed that this line meant normal road conditions.

It appears that 'C' stands for confusion amongst Londoner motorists, with as many as 22 per cent failing to recognize the sign that denotes a congestion zone within the capital. In fact, 6% thought it meant 'caution children ahead' while 4% believed it marks a charging point for electric vehicles. Meanwhile, 34 per cent of motorists from elsewhere in the country did not recognize it.

However, it appears that drivers are aware of their knowledge gaps, and believe more should be done about it. The majority of those surveyed believe that the driving theory and hazard perception tests should be retaken at some point in our driving life, with more than half (53%) thinking it should be repeated at least once every twenty years.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, commented: "The findings show that although many of us think we are good drivers, we are ready to accept that we don't know the meanings of all road signs.

"Our research showed that some surprising results, and indicated that there are some clear instructions and safety warnings which drivers are not picking up on when out on the road.

"While people can't be expected to voluntarily retake their test, it would be a good idea for even those of us who have been driving a long time to make sure we really do know the correct meaning of road signs and markings."