International Traffic Signs and Car Insurance

I found that understanding international traffic signs was not as difficult as I expected. I always check the Auto Club websites of the country I'm visiting for all aspects and rules of driving there. But first I should start with insurance.

Many countries, especially in Europe, are very strict on car insurance. One must have proof of insurance, such as of a Green Card that covers driving in many European countries. In that way the legal and financial hassles of, say, smashing your English motorcycle that you bought in Spain in the Greek mountains, even though you have a Swedish passport, is kept to a minimum.

You laugh. I have a Swedish friend who did this.

The next thing to remember is to obey all the European traffic laws. This is actually much easier than it sounds.

Just remember: Do not turn right on red light after coming to a complete stop. It is illegal everywhere in Europe. (Note: Drivers in the US or Canada can do this legally. Honest.)

The big trick is to understand the traffic signs in Europe and the rest of the world. Here is a quick tour (Check with Auto Club websites in the country of choice for details before going.):

Triangles are warning signs. Watch out!

International traffic sign - Warning

This is a general danger warning sign.

The message or icon below this warning sign is what you need to watch out for. For Instance:

International traffic sign - Warning - Frog Crossing.

Watch out! Migrating frogs. (You think I'm joking.)


Round signs are the traffic directives that must be obeyed:

International traffic sign - No Passing.

Red circle tells you what is forbidden. No passing.


International traffic sign - End of No Passing.

White circle with black stripe tells when it's OK to pass again.


International traffic sign - Left Turn Mandatory.

Blue circle tells you what you must do. Mandatory direction of travel.


Square signs inform:

International traffic sign - Autobahn Eentrance.

Blue square informs you. Autobahn entrance.

International traffic sign - Autobahn Ends.

Blue square with red stripe informs you what has ended. Autobahn ends.


Here are signs that all are familiar with:

International traffic sign - Stop.Stop. International traffic sign - Yield.Yield. International traffic sign - No Entry.No Entry.


Here are traffic signs that you might not be familiar with:

International traffic sign - No parking.No parking. International traffic sign - End No Parking.End No Parking.
International traffic sign - No Stopping.


No Stopping.
International traffic sign - Priority Road.


You are on a priority road. All traffic must yield to you.

I begin understanding these signs in just a few minutes of driving in Europe. Hopefully...

For a quick test, please tell me the difference between these signs. Your life may depend on it.

International traffic sign - Right of Way.International traffic sign - Yield to Oncoming Traffic.

The one on the left (Blue Square) informs you have the right of way. The second sign (Red Circle) states that you must yield to oncoming traffic.

Did you get it right? I hope so. In any case, check the following link to German signs.

German Traffic Signs

For more information go to the Auto Club in the country of choice and get information on driving in other places in the world.