For most of us, we see road signs such as 'U-turn' or 'Give way' daily, but do we really understand what they
mean? Chances are, there is more to common roads signs than most of us may think.
To get the full picture, we've put together a list of the most commonly misunderstood road signs.
When approaching a yellow light, there can be a feeling of “could I make it if I hit the
accelerator?” A yellow light is a warning indicating you should slow down to a stop, therefore the
answer in this instance is “no”, do not try and speed up to make it. However, if you feel you
would be stopping too suddenly and may cause a crash with the vehicle behind you, it will be important to
calculate your risks quickly. To avoid this scenario, you should allow yourself plenty of distance and time
to stop safely should a yellow light turn.
Pedestrians have a right of way in a number of instances. If you are approaching a pedestrian crossing which
is empty, you may drive through. However, if there is a person about to cross or in the act of crossing then
you must stop and allow them to cross. The law also indicates that turning drivers must give way to
pedestrians crossing at any intersection, with or without lights.
It might seem safe to perform a U-turn in some areas; however, except in Victoria, these are not permitted at
traffic lights unless there is a sign letting you know that U-turns are permitted. It’s also illegal
to perform a U-turn over a continuous white dividing line.
Form one lane
Merging has been a hotly debated topic for some time. The rules indicate that the vehicle which is travelling
ahead has the right of way when it comes to forming one lane and merging. Keep in mind though, if the lane
ends and you have to merge across lane lines, this is considered the same as changing lanes, and
you’ll need to give way.
Hook turns are most common in Melbourne’s CBD and in South Australia. A hook turn means the driver is
turning right from the left lane. If you’ve ever witnesses a hook turn, it may look a little tricky
and out of place, however there is good reasoning behind it. Hook turns are performed to allow a space for
trams to pass, and to allow drivers to turn without having to wait for a long time.
So, whether you've been behind the wheel for years or are new to driving, it's important to brush up on your
knowledge of the road rules and signs to help you stay safe on the roads.
Before you hit the road, make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected with HBF Car Insurance.
Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 (IAL), trading as CGU Insurance. For full policy details please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at www.hbf.com.au. This is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances. You should consider the PDS and your personal circumstances in deciding whether to buy or hold these products. HBF Health Limited ABN 11 126 884 786 AR No. 406073 (HBF Health), is an authorised representative of IAL.