Read the signs to be a safer driver

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This week’s advice from road safety charity the IAM and Britain’s top advanced driver Peter Rodger gives top tips on making the best use of road signs.

> Look well ahead to see road signs – the more time you give yourself to see them the better. They give information and guidance on hazards, road layouts and directions – don’t ignore them.

> Be careful where there are temporary signs – they are there for a specific reason.

> If you notice a sign that is misspelt, is misleading, overcrowded or hidden by dirt and foliage, report it to the council. The message has to be clear so that drivers can act on them immediately.

> Read the road signs to double check your route – don’t rely too heavily on your sat-nav in case things have changed.

> If you notice a sign too late, don’t make a last minute manoeuvre that could be dangerous, such as a sharp turn, sudden braking or a u-turn. Drive on until you find a safe place to turn around.

> Five minutes spent with the Highway Code can make understanding of signs much clearer.

IAM chief examiner Peter said: “Road signs are often seen as one of those things you only learn for your driving test. While you might not know what each and every sign means, it’s always good to brush up on them from time to time. Understanding them can make things a lot less stressful”

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.