Resource Center | What Each Type of Road Sign Means
What each type of road sign means

What Each Type of Road Sign Means

Road signs appear in many different shapes and colors. They all send a message, and they keep us safe. To learn about the types of road signs and what they mean, fasten your seatbelts for an educational adventure.

Examples of Common Road Signs

Regulatory Signs


Found at busy intersections, stop signs are red octagons. On the front of the sign, the word STOP can be seen in bold white font. The contrast between the red and white makes the letters stand out. Stop signs require drivers to make full stops. The amount of time you have to stay at the stop sign depends on the speed of traffic, the weather conditions, and whether other drivers or pedestrians are crossing. To make a complete stop, it’s important to slow down at least 150 feet away from the sign.


Like stop signs, yield signs are also red and white. The yield sign is an upside-down triangle, and you’ll see a white upside-down triangle in the center. The word YIELD is printed in bold red letters on the white part of the sign. This sign tells drivers to slow down. Yield signs can be found where roads merge, especially at intersections.

Do Not Enter

The do not enter sign has a white background with a red circle in the center. The red circle contains the words DO NOT ENTER in bold white letters. There’s also a white horizontal line in the middle of the circle. Do Not Enter signs are located at off-ramps to freeways and on one-way streets. You’ll also find these signs posted along with Wrong Way signs, which warn drivers against turning onto a road with traffic coming towards them.

Speed Limit

Speed limit signs are vertical white rectangles with the words SPEED LIMIT and numbers printed in black. The numbers are large to emphasize the maximum speed allowed for drivers. Drivers can find speed limit signs by freeways, in school zones, and on divided roads.

Warning Signs


Crossing signs are usually yellow diamonds with black print and symbols. However, crossing signs regarding trucks are orange diamonds. Crossing signs warn drivers about pedestrians, children, heavy equipment, wildlife, and railroad crossings. These signs can be found in busy parking lots, at school zones, and near trails and busy intersections.


Advisory signs are usually yellow triangles with black letters and symbols. They warn drivers about upcoming road hazards such as volts and electrical power lines. They also tell drivers the recommended speed around road curves.

Flow of Traffic

Flow of traffic signs are typically rectangular red or blue signs with black or white arrows pointing in the direction of traffic flow. They also come in the form of one-way signs, which say ONE WAY in black print on white arrows. Drivers can usually find these signs on one-way roads and in busy parking lots.

Construction Signs

Lanes/Exits Closed

Lanes and exits closed signs are orange diamonds with black print. They mark lane and exit closures on multilane highways and interstates, typically when road construction is occurring.

Type of Work

Type of work signs are orange diamonds with black font. Some of the types of work printed on these signs include utility work, road work, shoulder work, and ramp work.

Workers Ahead

Workers Ahead signs appear as orange, yellow, or red diamonds. They all contain black font simply with the words WORKERS AHEAD. These signs are often found before orange cones and road construction sites.

Guide Signage


Markers look like one of two types of shields with numbers on them. The different shield symbols represent highway, interstate, and route numbers. Highway and interstate signs are blue and red; route signs are brown. Mile markers inform drivers how far they are down the highway. These markers are green signs with white numbers. They are helpful when drivers need to identify a location.


Identification signs show drivers the directions and names of certain roads. These signs are green horizontal rectangles with white print. When two roads meet, two signs intersect with each other.

Distance/Exit Signs

Distance and exit signs are green rectangular signs that show drivers how far away certain cities are and when to get off the freeway. Distance and exit information sometimes appear on the same sign. Distance signs should be placed at least 200 feet apart on the highway. Multiple exit signs should be placed no more than 100 feet apart.

Motorist Services

Motorist service signs are blue rectangles that inform drivers about places at which motorists may wish to stop. Some of these places include gas stations, rest areas, restaurants, phone booths, and handicap vehicle parking areas. These signs include both words and symbols in white print.


Recreation signs are brown rectangles. They tell inform drivers about fun tourist destinations and activities. Some examples include vacation spots, camping sites, and beaches.

Pedestrian Signage


Crossing signs and crosswalks show pedestrians where they can walk and alert motorists to potential pedestrians. They’re also placed where there’s a traffic patrol.


Biking signs are white with green letters and bike symbols. They represent places where only bicycles can be parked. Some of them include lock symbols as reminders for bikers to lock their bikes.

Yield for Pedestrians

As we stated before, regular yield signs are shaped like upside-down triangles. However, Yield for Pedestrian Signs are yellow diamonds with black letters or white rectangles with black letters. Some of them simply say YIELD with a pedestrian symbol. Others say “Yield to Pedestrians Ahead.”

LED Traffic Signage

LED traffic signs are also very important to mention, as they’re often more effective at catching driver attention in less-than-desirable visibility conditions. From pedestrian to road work to stop signs, all of these models are available with solar-powered LED features. This way, you’ll have the means to administer traffic directions, regardless of the environment, and reduce the frequency of accidents. Our LED road signs provide drivers with high visibility at night. Our Solar Pedestrian Sign comes in fluorescent lime green with a black pedestrian symbol, while our Solar Flashing Red Stop Sign is bright red and white. The lights make it easy for upcoming vehicles to stop at night. Both the Solar Pedestrian Sign and the Solar Flashing Red Stop Sign include battery packs and necessary installation hardware.

Types of Road Signs Our Company Sells

Understanding what each type of road sign means allows construction crews and road builders to aid drivers and pedestrians in reaching their destinations safely. Traffic Safety Warehouse specializes in traffic signs, and can help you select the appropriate posts and installation hardware.

Click the image below to view larger in new window.
What Each Type of Road Sign Means

©2024 Traffic Safety Warehouse™. All Rights Reserved.