Do You Know the Meaning of All of These International Road Signs?

By: J.P. Naomi
Image: Wiki Commons by Federal Highway Administration - MUTCD

About This Quiz

Ready to drive around the world? Hop in and let's see how well you know the rules of the road!

Chances are, if you know them here, you will know them anywhere! Want to know why? Because on November 8, 1968, the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals was signed into action. This is a multi-nation treaty that was created in an effort to help increase road safety throughout the world. As such, it works to standardize the signage system for road traffic. This includes everything from road signs to traffic lights and even road markings - all of which are used internationally.

Though there are slight variations from country to country, the same categories of road signs exist. Danger signs are still danger signs; prohibitory signs are still prohibitory signs. In different countries, however, these signs might just vary in shape or color. And while not every nation has signed on to the Vienna Convention, there are 69 nations that have. Now wouldn't you say that is a step, or shall we say drive, in the right direction?

You see, road signs and rules are essential to the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians no matter where you live in the world. It's time to put your car in drive and see if you have what it takes to enter the no speed limit zone or if your parking meter is about to run out!

An expressway is known as a controlled-access highway. It is known as a freeway in some countries ​and a motorway in others. Similar terms include interstate and parkway.

The steep hill is a type of warning sign that indicates a hazard ahead on the road. In this case, drivers should use caution as they may not be able to see over the hill, or during inclement weather, they may lose control of their vehicle on the hill.

In most countries, the priority lane tends to be depicted as a white arrow, whereas the opposing traffic shows as a red arrow. In some locations, the words, "Priority over opposing traffic" are shown below the sign, but not always, so you better know its meaning!

According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.25 million deaths worldwide in 2010. That statistic means that one person is killed every 25 seconds.

Sometimes the expressway just... ends. It could turn into a one-lane road or it could merge into another local route. Don't fret though, where one road ends, another begins.

Did you know the highest annual death toll for traffic-related incidents is in Africa? In 2015, Africa had 1.25 million deaths, while Europe came in last place with just 84,500.

Traffic signs for bumps are often found near construction or road work zones. They warn drivers to slow down because the bumps could cause loss of control or, in some cases, vehicle damage.

The "closed to automobiles" sign is known as a prohibitory traffic sign. These signs are used in certain areas to prohibit certain types of maneuver or types of traffic. In this case, no cars, but perhaps trucks, are allowed!

Though you may not find these signs in countries closest to the equator, you will certainly find them in colder areas where residents and tourists enjoy winter sports. Austria is an example of a country where snow chains are a requirement, not just a suggestion.

In road transport, a yield sign indicates that each driver must prepare to stop, if necessary, to let a driver on another approach proceed. A driver who stops or slows down to let another vehicle through has yielded the right of way to that vehicle.

Deer crossing signs are intended to warn drivers about deer in the vicinity. These signs are often seen around wooded areas. Drivers should exercise caution and slow down.

There is no mistaking the meaning of this sign. No motorcycles allowed! According to the United States Department of Transportation, the number of fatalities per mile traveled was 37 times higher for motorcycles than for cars.

Believe it or not, some roads require you to travel at LEAST a certain speed. In some cases, the maximum and minimum speed limits are displayed on a single sign.

Vehicles carrying goods are at a higher risk for accidents because of their weight. It is not safe for these types of heavy vehicles to speed up in order to pass a smaller vehicle, and most countries prohibit it.

When the road narrows, this tends to mean that the "shoulder" is eliminated. The shoulder is a buffer zone where cars may pull over for various reasons.

No matter what language you speak, when you see this sign, you know exactly what it means. So be sure to follow it! In the United States, drivers are required to come to a complete stop for three seconds before proceeding.

A train crossing without barrier sign indicates what is known as a level crossing. When approaching a train crossing without a barrier, cars must give way to trains or else!

Parking areas or rest stops are designated areas off of a highway intended for motorists to take a break from driving. These areas generally come equipped with restrooms, information and maps, as well as a variety of food options.

Though bicycles can travel around a city quite easily, there are certain areas where they are not permitted. This is usually for a very good reason - areas where their safety would be compromised due to high traffic or uneven roads.

Bike lanes have become more and more available throughout the world. They provide a safe path of travel for cyclists because cars and trucks are prohibited on them.

2 tons per axle is a LOT of weight! This is not exactly the type of vehicle you'd want driving over a bridge with you, right?!

Dead end signs mean exactly what they say. You have nowhere to go but turn around. Often these signs are seen with, or in place of, 'No O​utlet' signs.

While it's true a good motorist should always yield to pedestrians, in some cases, it is the law. Not all crossings are at traffic lights, so it's up to the motorists to stop for the safety of the pedestrians.

The meaning of this sign is for motorists to slow down and be prepared to come to a complete stop on the yellow or red signal. Of course if the light is green...

Speed limits are determined based on a number of factors - the width of the road, the curvature of the road, the number of vehicles that travel the road. All of these factors are taken into consideration when determining the safest speed at which vehicles can travel.

The end of minimum speed sign generally means that you have come into a more dense or populated area where you should now use common sense as your guide to how fast or slow you should travel. In some countries, this is known as a 'thickly settled' area.

On a long stretch of open and straight roadway, cars may be permitted to pass one another. As soon as the characteristics of the roadway allow safe passing, this sign is sure to be posted.

Crossroads are also known as a junction - where two or more roads meet. Crossroads began forming as more and more roads were built throughout history. They are a place for motorists to decide if they want to stay the course, or change direction.

A superhighway is defined as a highway designed for travel at high speeds, having more than one lane for each direction of traffic, a safety strip dividing the two directions, and cloverleaves to route the traffic on and off the highway.

Modern train crossings come equipped with warning bells as well as safety gates to prevent motorists from accidentally driving through while a train is approaching or crossing. This is known as a train crossing with barrier.

Disc parking is a system of allowing time-restricted free parking through display of a parking disc or clock disc showing the time at which the vehicle was parked. The system is common in Europe.

"No entry" is a prohibitory traffic sign. It could mean one of three things: wrong way, road closed or no straight ahead.

A footpath road sign indicates the sidewalk or designated area where pedestrians should walk. On occasion, a footpath is under construction or closed - in which case city officials will designate an alternate safe route for pedestrians.

If your vehicle or truck is too tall, you better heed the sign! Oftentimes, drivers who do not pay attention to this sign will get stuck beneath an overpass or in a tunnel - causing a lot of traffic behind them!

One of the biggest rules of the road - beware of pedestrians! Using caution and being aware of the car's surroundings, not just in front, are crucial to successful driving.

This sign is used where parking and stopping are prohibited. It is usually shown as a red cross inside a blue circle with a red ring in Europe and parts of Asia, and an 'E' in a red circle with an 'X' through it in South America.

Hostls are establishments that provide inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travelers. They can be found in almost every city around the world.

When entering a two-way street, slow down and be aware of oncoming traffic. There may or may not be a dividing barrier in the road on a two-way street.

The end of speed limit sign does not mean, "Go as fast as you want." It simply means that the local speed limit applies unless otherwise noted. Most states in the United States designate 55 mph as the general speed limit.

This pennant-shaped yellow and black traffic sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone. The sign is placed on the left side of the road, facing the driver. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane.​

The proper way to drive through a roundabout is: Yield to drivers in the roundabout; stay in your lane; do not change lanes; do not stop in the roundabout; and avoid driving next to oversize vehicles.

This sign warns you of an uneven road ahead. It might have multiple severe bumps and general uneven surfaces that could throw your vehicle off its line. Therefore, please slow down!

The camping road sign indicates that you are near or approaching a campsite or camping area. Here you will find many RVs, pick-up trucks and excited vacationers.

The sign for parking with meters indicates that you may park in these spots but it will cost you. Generally, the meters are coin operated and may only be used for about two hours per vehicle. After that time is up, you must move your car.

Most trucks are considered commercial vehicles. Trucks are often unfit for traveling on certain roads for safety reasons. When these signs are posted, truck drivers must avoid the road and take an alternate route.

What else could an arrow to the right possibly mean? Be sure to follow the signs or you'll end up on the wrong side of the road!

A crosswind is any wind that has a perpendicular component to the line or direction of travel. This affects the aerodynamics of many forms of transport, including trucks and airplanes.​

This is one of the most recognizable road signs in the world. It is usually shown as a red diagonal bar inside a blue circle with a red ring in Europe and parts of Asia, and a 'P' in a red circle with a cross through in North and South America, as well as Asia, Australia, Africa and Ireland.

The hospital road sign is a highly recognizable sign around the world. It indicates that you may seek medical attention nearby, usually within several miles of the sign.

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