March 1, 2023


Road Signs in the US (Easy explanation)

One of the most challenging aspects of driving once we manage to feel safe behind the wheel is remembering what all the American road signs mean. Sure, there can be some road signs in the States that are quite easy to understand (like a sharp curve or animals on the road) but there are others that might be a little tricky.

Our US road signs guide makes sign reading simple, to help you be a safer driver. But don't forget about real peace of mind - your trusty auto insurance. At OCHO, one out of two people qualify for $0 down payment, and we’ve made the application process as smooth as possible! You can read about how important it is to stay insured here!

Let's hit the road  – knowledgeable and protected!

So let’s start learning traffic signs and meanings in the USA! 

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that colors have a meaning:

Red signs have a regulatory quality that tells drivers to take immediate action.

Yellow signs tell us something specific about the road and its condition.

White signs mean there’s a traffic regulation or they’re giving us specific information about a place.

Orange signs mean there’s a temporary condition on the road, they’re usually construction or maintenance projects.

Green signs usually give us directions, but they’re also used for permitted movements, entrances or exits.

Blue signs can be used for directions. These signs tell you what services are nearby and evacuation routes.

Brown signs mean fun places to visit! They’re normally placed to indicate that there’s a place of recreational or cultural interest nearby. 

The shape of a sign serves as a visual cue for road users about the kind of information it conveys.

Signs with rectangular shapes, where the longer side is vertical or square, typically communicate traffic regulations.

Octagonal signs, resembling stop signs, indicate additional regulatory instructions for stopping.

Inverted triangle signs signal the need to yield.

Diamond-shaped signs convey warnings.

Rectangular signs with the longer side horizontal offer guidance information.

Pentagons are used explicitly for school zones.

Circular signs are employed to caution about approaching a railroad crossing.

Here’s a chart to easily remember!


Red - regulatory, immediate action. 

Orange- temporary road conditions.

Yellow- road conditions.

White- traffic regulation, helpful information

Green- directions, permitted movements. 

Blue- road services, directions.

Brown- fun places to visit!

Okay so now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s see if you can remember the following signs. Ready? 

First look at the images and then scroll down to see if you got the name or concept right. Let’s start easy.

Now let’s increase the level of difficulty!

How many did you get right? If you didn’t remember some of them don’t worry, that’s why this post was created, to remind you what they mean and the next time you’re out on the road you can be sure you know what they mean. You’ve got this!

If you want to know more about the subject, we recommend reading the driver's manual of your state. Click on the name of your State to visit the manuals: