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A Test Question You Are Likely to Miss

Directional arrow

2 out of 3 Give the Wrong Answer

When are you most likely to see the black/yellow One-Direction Large Arrow?

A. When entering a roundabout.
B. When entering a one-way street.
C. When there is a sharp change in direction.
D. When road works force you to take a detour.

Two out of three users fail to answer this test question correctly on our DMV practice tests. It is also a known pitfall on some final knowledge exams. Not all states have this sign on their written knowledge test, but it is still useful knowledge. During a road test you can always be asked the meaning of any road sign if the examiner believes that you don’t understand how to act when you see it.

What It Means

The one-direction arrow has the same meaning as a chevron sign. It marks a sharp change in direction and is often placed on the outside of sharp curve (not ahead of the curve).

It can be used either as a supplement or instead of a chevron sign. Sometimes you will also see it after turn or reverse turn signs to emphasize the abrupt curvature.

It is a rectangular warning sign. You should slow down well ahead of the directional arrow and be prepared for the sharp turn.

Where You Won’t See It – And What You Will See

Remember, you will NOT see the black/yellow one-direction large arrow where there is no alignment change in the direction of travel (when there is no turn or curve).

one-way sign The black/yellow one-direction large arrow is NOT used to mark one-way streets. Only black and white regulatory signs are used.
keep right sign You will NOT see the black/yellow arrow at the beginnings and ends of medians or at center piers. Keep left or keep right signs are used here.
detour sign You will NOT see the one-direction arrow instead of a detour sign in a work zone. Detours will always have the word Detour and work zone signs are always orange.
roundabout chevron sign The one-direction arrow should NOT be placed in the central island of a roundabout. Special roundabout directional arrow signs should be used at roundabouts and other circular intersections. Placing a one-way street sign in a roundabout is also very common.
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7 Comments

  1. good to know. thanks

  2. wee have very few round abouts in our area ,but used the sign when i in one

  3. I appreciate getting these driving rule update s. They are all good reminders.
    Driving is a huge responsibly. Especially with
    the high # of drivers on our roads.

  4. david courtemarche March 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    what does the bottom sign in this illustration mean ? It is the one that has chevrons pointing to the right( >>>)

    • It is a Roundabout Directional Arrow Sign, also known as R6-4a sign. You may also see this with four or two chevrons. It is used in the central island to direct traffic counter-clockwise around the central island. The one-way sign (top) may be used instead of the chevron sign.

  5. This is a easy one for me to remember

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