Four in 10 UK drivers (40%) believe that there is a lack of understanding around UK road signs, with three-quarters (75%) believing that they would fail a theory test if they had to re-sit it again.
The survey, conducted by Leasing Options, asked 2,000 drivers to review 16 road signs (eight real and eight fake) to test their knowledge, while also asking for their thoughts around the theory test.
The research that three-quarter of drivers (75%) believed that a made-up road sign existed on the risk of electric cars around water, yet 70% believed the real ‘tank crossing’ sign was fake. And, while 13% thought a ‘no speed cameras’ sign existed, a worrying 23% failed to recognise the ‘national speed limit’ sign as real.
Other real road signs that caused confusion for drivers included the ‘Migrating Toad Crossing Ahead’, common in rural areas, which 56% believed to be a fake sign, and the ‘no explosives’ sign, which 70% believed was made up.
One in five drivers (20%) believed that an ‘80 speed limit’ sign exists, when in fact it is a fake, and 5% believed that there is such a thing as a ‘cat crossing’, which is also a fake. The fake sign which caused the most confusion for drivers was the ‘electric car near water’ sign, with 75% of drivers thinking it is real.
Almost a third of drivers (31%), admitted that they felt there are too many road signs in the UK and 40% feel there is a lack of understanding around them. Shockingly three-quarters (75%) of drivers felt that they wouldn’t pass their theory test if they sat it again.
The survey also revealed interesting results around gender and road signs. More women (72%) than men (63%) thought the ‘tank crossing’ sign was fake. However, 15% of males thought the ‘no speed camera’ sign existed compared to just 11% of women.
Mike Thompson, sales and marketing director at Leasing Options, said: “This was a fun piece of research but there is a serious message.
“Road signs are important for public safety and so it’s a concern that there seems to be such widespread confusion around them.
“Three in four drivers said that they would fail the theory test if they took it today so more needs to be done to improve their knowledge and confidence in this area. This is especially important for drivers that learnt to drive before July 1996 as they passed their driving test without a theory test.
“Anyone who fancies testing whether they can tell the difference between an ‘electric car water’ and other fake signs can take a fun and interactive quiz.”