Recognizing Street Signs by Color and Shape: Advanced Driving Technique

Recognizing Street Signs by Color and Shape: Advanced Driving Technique

While walking or driving on the road, you will notice tons of road safety signs. Even though the classification of the road signs is huge, you don’t need to memorize every individual road safety sign to drive perfectly on the road. However, some signs are extremely important to obey otherwise you might cause fatal road accidents. 

Based on the shape and color, you can easily determine the general meaning of individual street signs. Street signs are designed this way intentionally so that the distracting environments and high-speed roads don’t force the drivers to provide too much effort to understand the meaning. 

The primary classes of street signs are regulatory signs, construction zone signs, warning signs, and guide signs. Additionally, some types of signs also have a sub-category of signs. However, the signs of certain subcategories share the same shape and color. 

Road Signs with Unique Designs

If you notice street signs that have different shapes and colors than the other signs of the relevant class, this is because these signs convey the most important messages and they must be recognized by the drivers instantly. For example, YIELD and STOP signs. Even though they fall under the class of regulatory signs, they don’t have the standard shape and color as the other regulatory signs. These types of signs not only have unique designs but are also extremely effective at protecting drivers from possible road accidents. However, the drovers need to obey them carefully. 

Street Sign Shapes

These are some common street sign shapes you need to remember so that you can identify the meaning without any problem. 

  • Octagon: The STOP sign is the only street sign that has an octagon shape. Additionally, every stop sign is not only octagon but also painted red. However, they may or may not showcase the word STOP. As per LinkedIn, stop signs are essential
  • Rectangle: This shape is effective for guide signs and regulatory signs. The vertical rectangle-shaped usually dictate regulatory signs. On the other hand, the horizontal rectangles usually dictate guide signs. 
  • Pentagon: These types of signs are used to mark the school or hospital areas. These signs inform the drivers to reduce their vehicle speed and constantly look for children who might come in front of the vehicle. 
  • Triangle: YIELD signs are white and red inverted triangles. Keep in mind that no other street signs are triangles other than the YIELD. 

Street Sign Colors

The color of the street signs also plays an important role to convey the proper message to the drivers. Here are some street sign colors you should know of. 

  • Red: All red road signs are the most crucial regulatory signs. These inform road-related instructions that the drivers must obey at any condition. For example, WRONG WAY, DO NOT ENTER, YIELD, and STOP are painted red. 
  • Black and White: These types of signs are general regulatory signs. These not only dictate certain states or instructions regarding road rules but also prohibit certain actions by the drivers. Some types of route marker signs are also painted black and white. 
  • Green: The green street signs tell the drivers about the location. Sometimes, they often provide distance information and directions to upcoming destinations. 


When you start learning to drive on highways or open roads, your confidence and familiarity with the various street signs will undoubtedly increase. Make sure you always follow the road safety signs to avoid any casualties.  

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