Detour Sign: Meanings & Examples for the DMV Written Test


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The Detour sign is a common road sign that may show up on your driver’s license written test. 

And you’re sure to encounter this type of sign as you gain more experience driving. 

Learn what this sign means and what you’ll need to do when you see a Detour while you’re on the road. 

What does a Detour ahead sign mean?

A Detour sign means that you are being directed through an alternate route to avoid traffic incidents or construction on the road you were traveling on.

Long-term construction zones may feature more permanent detour route signs and road markings.

Once you’ve reached the end of the detour, the road will typically be marked with an End Detour Sign.

Detour signs may be placed on highways, intersections, entrance/exit ramps, or anywhere else where the road is closed and traffic needs to be redirected.

What should you do if you see a Detour sign while driving?

You’re sure to encounter a Detour sign while you drive. 

When you see a Detour sign, you should:

  • Follow the detour arrow signs.
  • Avoid driving on any temporarily closed or blocked-off roadway.
  • Watch out for any workers in the road and hazards due to road construction.

Being able to recognize road signs as you drive and respond accordingly is an important part of being a safe driver, sharing the road, and respecting right-of-way rules. 

What does a Detour sign look like?

The color of a Detour sign is black and orange with black and orange lettering and designs.

The shape of a Detour sign is a rectangle.

As you gain more experience behind the wheel, you can use the color and shape of a Detour sign to recognize its meaning from a farther distance before you’re able to read it. 

What type of road sign is a Detour sign?

The Detour sign falls into the road work sign category of traffic signs. 

These types of warning signs communicate temporary changes in the flow of traffic due to road work or maintenance.

As you gain more driving experience you’ll be better able to anticipate what signs you may come across as you drive on certain streets in certain areas. This can help you become a safer driver by anticipating and adjusting to potential hazards and driving conditions before they become a problem. 

More Free Study Tools to Pass Your DMV Tests

And be sure to take our DMV road signs practice tests to prepare for your test. 

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