When looking at road signs based on their shape and color but devoid of text, only 73% of Americans could accurately identify a road construction sign, according to a new survey from myvision.org.
Nearly 13% of those surveyed confused the road construction sign for a railroad crossing sign, 4% mistook it for a slow-moving vehicle sign, and 4% thought it was a no-passing sign.
Using the same method — showing signs without any text included —some 16% of respondents failed to accurately identify a school zone sign while 12% could not recognize a do not enter sign.
Road signs are important for protecting the safety for all road users. In fact, 97% of respondents said they felt road signs are helpful. But clearly, many American drivers can’t decipher some of even the most basic road signs.
For example, when shown signs that included text, about one in 10 people had trouble with a sign signifying the right lane ends here. Moreover, complex signs like the divided highway ending and railroad after turn were the ones that tripped up drivers the most. Approximately two out of five respondents did not know what these signs meant.
On the upside, 97% of drivers could pinpoint the merge sign and 95% correctly identified the yield sign.
The biggest problem drivers voice about road signs is that they aren’t well placed. Some 58% of survey respondents report trouble driving because of bad signage.
The survey also explored another visual issue that drivers contend with — driving in the dark. Some 36% of those surveyed say they have trouble driving in the dark. The top three night driving difficulties cited by respondents were poorly lit roads, trouble seeing in the dark, and difficultly seeing or reading signs.
Drowsy driving is a common issue many people face, too. Nearly three out of 10 (27%) have gotten sleepy when behind the wheel at night. Finally, 10% have gotten into a collision while driving at night.