Knowing what each road sign means makes it a lot easier for you to navigate the roads safely.
On top of that, understanding the road signs is crucial to passing your permit test.
Still, there are road signs that MUST be obeyed. If not, you will face annoying tickets.
So whether you want to be a safe driver, avoid penalties, or need to pass the test with flying colors, it’s a good idea to study the Michigan road signs.
We’re here to help.
Today, we’re going to give you a complete guide to the Michigan traffic signs, pavement markings, and traffic signals. We’ll even include pictures to give you a visual aid.
So are you ready?
Let’s dive right in!
Michigan Traffic Signs
Traffic signs, as the name suggests, are meant to manage traffic. They come in different shapes and colors, each one meaning something different.
Let’s take a look at these.
Traffic Sign Shapes in Michigan
Here is a table explaining the traffic sign shapes in Michigan:
|Octagon||Make a complete stop by the sign|
|Triangle||Yield to pedestrians, bicyclists, or the right of way|
|Diamond||Shows a hazard ahead / a warning sign|
|Pentagon||You are entering a school zone|
|Pennant||No passing zone/a warning sign|
|Horizontal Rectangle||Indicates a direction|
|Vertical Rectangle||Indicates a law in the area|
|Round||Railroad crossing ahead|
|Crossbuck||Railroad crossing ahead|
Traffic Sign Colors in Michigan
Similar to sign shapes, each traffic sign color has a meaning.
Now, keep in mind that the same color will mean the same thing regardless of the shape.
For example, all red signs, regardless of shape, mean “stop” or “do not enter”.
Here is a complete list of the colors you’ll see on Michigan signs:
|Red||To stop or yield. Also, indicates a road you can’t enter|
|Blue||Indicates services, usually hospitals or gas stations|
|Green||Gives directions or guides to areas nearby|
|Yellow||Warns of a potential hazard ahead|
|Orange||Warns of construction or maintenance work ahead|
|Black||Indicates regulations or laws|
|White||Indicates regulations or laws|
|Brown||Indicates a recreational or cultural location|
|Fluorescent yellow-green||Indicates school, pedestrian, or bicycle caution|
|Fluorescent pink||Indicates an incident or unplanned event ahead|
Route Markers in Michigan
As you’ll notice, route markers have different shapes. These are there to indicate a location.
Now, to identify the location based on the route number, consult a map.
|Interstate freeway sign|
|US highway sign|
|State Maintenance Sign|
|County route marker|
Regulatory Signs in Michigan
Regulatory signs tell you of prohibitions or specific laws in the area. Examples are speed limits, do not enter, or no-turning when the traffic light is red.
The law or command will be indicated on the sign. Here are some examples:
Other Traffic Signs in Michigan
Traffic signs are a mix of warning signs, prohibitions, regulations, and even directions.
Let’s look at the most common traffic signs in Michigan.
|Incident Ahead||An emergency or unplanned event is ahead|
|Gas Pump||Indicates the location of a gas station ahead|
|Exit||Indicates an exit to a freeway|
|Bridge Ices Before Road||The bridge ahead can be icy|
|One way||The traffic flow follows the direction of the sign|
|Speed Limit||Indicates the speed limit in the area|
|National Forest||There is a national park ahead|
|School Children Present||School children are in the area. Be alert for children that might cross the road.|
|Directional Signs||Informs you of the direction to take based on the names of the signs|
|Wheelchair Symbol||Services and accommodations for people with disabilities are available|
|State Route Marker||Indicates the state highway|
|Parking Permitted||The area is allowed for parking. The parking hours are indicated on the sign.|
|Stop Sign||Make a complete stop by the sign. Check if the road is safe before continuing.|
|Yield||Slow down and yield the right of way.|
|No Turn On Red||Do not make a turn when the traffic light is red|
|No Right Turn||Taking a right turn is not allowed|
|No U-Turn||U-turns are not allowed|
|Right Turn Lanes||You must make a right turn on the indicated lanes|
|Center Lane Left Turn Only||You can only use the center lane when turning left|
|Do Not Pass||You cannot pass|
|Pass With Care||Often found near a ‘Do Not Pass’ sign. Pass only when it is safe to do so.|
|Median Ahead||There is a divided roadway ahead|
|Do Not Enter||You cannot enter the road/areas ahead|
|Authorized Vehicles Only||Only authorized vehicles (law enforcement, emergency, maintenance vehicles) are allowed to pass|
|Wrong Way||You have entered a road where you are opposite the direction of traffic. Leave the road right away.|
|No Trucks Allowed||Trucks are not allowed|
|RR Crossbuck||A railroad crossing with two tracks is ahead|
|Rest Area||Indicates accommodations or restrooms ahead|
|School Crossing||You are at a school crossing zone. Slow down and obey the directions of a school guard.|
|Slow-Moving Vehicle||This sign is placed on a slow-moving vehicle (which cannot move faster than 25 mph).|
|Sharp Turn Ahead||The road turns sharply to the right|
|Road Curves Ahead||The road ahead is curvy|
|Sharp Curve Ahead||There is a sharp curve ahead, limit your speed to 35 mph|
|Railroad Crossing||Railroad crossing ahead|
|Watch for Bicyclists||Bicyclists ahead, take caution|
|Watch for Pedestrians||Pedestrians ahead, take caution|
|Obstacle in Roadway||There is an obstruction ahead|
|Maximum Height Allowed||The maximum height of vehicles entering the road is indicated on the sign|
|Exit Speed Limit||The speed limit as you exit the highway is indicated|
|No Passing Zone||You are not allowed to pass|
|Intersection Ahead||Intersection ahead, watch for traffic|
|Side Road Ahead||A side road is found ahead, which will intersect your lane|
|Roundabout Ahead||A roundabout is nearby|
|Road Work Ahead||There is a construction or maintenance zone ahead|
|Stop Ahead||There is a stop sign ahead, prepare to stop|
|Yield Ahead||There is a yield sign ahead, prepare to yield the right of way|
|Merging Traffic||Traffic will merge from the right|
|Lane Ends Merge Left||The right lane is merging, so prepare to merge to the left|
|Divided Highway Ends||The divided highway is ending, there will be two lanes of traffic ahead|
|Two-Way Traffic||Two-way traffic is beginning, keep right|
|Hill||There is a steep hill ahead. Drive carefully and make sure that your brakes are working.|
|Slippery When Wet||Roads can be slippery during rain or snow, drive carefully|
|Merge Left||Right lane is ending, merge left|
|Bicyclists and Pedestrians||A bicycle or pedestrian crossing is ahead, slow down and drive carefully|
Michigan Pavement Markings
Other than these road signs, there are pavement markings that help navigate the flow of traffic.
Let’s take a look at these in the table below.
|White lines – separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.|
Broken white lines – allows passing.
Solid white lines – marks the edge of the road. You are not allowed to cross these lines when passing. These lines in the center of the one-way traffic mean that passing is not recommended.
Double solid white lines – separate lanes traveling in the same direction, but passing over the lines is not allowed.
|Crosswalk lines – mark pedestrian crosswalks, usually found at intersections|
Stop lines – indicate where you should stop before a crosswalk.
|Directional arrows – indicate the direction of traffic permitted in the lane. Arrows with a straight and right arrow in one indicate that you can either go straight or turn right. |
Right turn arrows indicate that you should turn right when the road is clear.
|Bicycle lane – lanes exclusively for bicyclists. Vehicles are not allowed to pass this lane.|
Sharrows – indicate shared lanes between vehicles and bicyclists. Be courteous of bicyclists and take extra care in passing or turning.
|Yellow lines – separate lanes with traffic moving in opposite directions.|
Broken yellow lines – marks the center of a two-way road where traffic moves in opposite directions. Passing is allowed.
Solid yellow lines – indicates where you cannot pass.
Left turn only center lane – the center lane is designated for left turns only.
|Indirect left turns – allows you to make an unconventional left. You can either make a right turn then U-turn to turn left OR go straight to the intersection and then turn left.|
|Yield lines – indicate where you should stop to yield to pedestrians or traffic|
|Dashed lines – indicate areas where you should slow down to yield in a roundabout|
Michigan Traffic Signals
As a driver, traffic signals are very basic. You see them all the time.
That said, it’s still important to go over them. So let’s do that now.
|Red light – stop before the intersection|
Yellow light – signal is about to turn red. Start slowing down.
Green light – proceed with caution after pedestrians and other vehicles clear the way.
|5-section-head signal OR the “doghouse signals” – shows when you can turn right or left. |
When the arrow or light is green, proceed with caution.
When the light is yellow, come to a stop if you haven’t entered the intersection yet.
When the light is red, make a full stop and do not pass until the green lights are on.
Flashing red light – make a full stop. You can only proceed when the road is clear.
Flashing yellow light – proceed carefully through the intersection. Pass only when the roads are clear.
Steady green arrow – you may proceed and turn
|Solid red arrow – all turning vehicles should make a stop|
Solid yellow arrow – the turn signal is about to go red. If you are approaching the intersection, prepare to stop.
Flashing yellow arrow – you are allowed to turn if the oncoming traffic is clear
Solid green arrow – oncoming traffic is stopped so you are allowed to turn
Did you know that there are pedestrian signals, too? Let’s look at them.
|White walking person/walk /hand with a countdown – you are allowed to cross. The hand with a countdown tells you how much time you have left to cross the road. |
Hand sign / ‘Don’t Walk’ – you are not allowed to cross.
|Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon – alerts drivers of pedestrians ahead. |
The signal remains dark when there are no pedestrians.
Flashing yellow light – indicates the presence of pedestrians.
Solid yellow light – make a stop unless you can safely continue.
Solid red light – make a stop to let pedestrians cross.
Alternate red signals – make a stop or yield if pedestrians are crossing
And we’re done!
We covered the Michigan road signs, pavement markings, and traffic signals — all in one.
Sure, you don’t have to memorize every single one. However, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the shapes and colors. This way, you have an idea of what type of sign you are running into.
As for the pavement markings and traffic signals, it’s pretty easy to memorize them.