Signs that are not so common in Japan « Forward priority road, slow down » is very important! - European Driving Trivia


Now, do you know what this sign means?

Basically, there is an international standard for road signs all over the world, so many of the signs have roughly the same meaning as the ones you see in Japan, but I think this one is probably not a Japanese sign.

This is a sign that you can see in many European countries.



The fact that it is not a pause is very important and very reasonable.

(*By the way, there are priority road signs in Japan, but not in this shape. I don’t think you can see them very often.

Probably in Japan, such a place where this sign stands is definitely « one stop ». If there is a lot of pause in vain, it becomes stressful to drive, isn’t it? That’s why it’s irritating.

Of course, there are stop signs in Europe too. But I feel that there are quite few.

In other words, if there is no car coming, you can go ahead non-stop as long as you check properly.

I believe that a proper understanding of the « rationality » and « efficiency » implied by these forward priority road signs is a prerequisite for smooth driving in Europe.


Ainhoa 20110423-IMG_6686

It’s called « Roundabout. »

  1. 前方道路は左回り一方通行(イギリスでは右回り)
  2. 前方優先道路・徐行

It’s just a combination of

In short, you just have to give way when a car comes from the left. It’s not a difficult technique, but it’s a basic technique for driving a car.


All you need to understand is that there is a concept called « forward priority road/slow speed » at the base of it. If you know the basic structure, it’s easy! It’s not a big deal.

It’s a small thing, but I believe that if you understand well the meaning of « forward priority road and slow down », you can have a very comfortable European drive.


I often see on the internet that « in Europe, the right side has priority ».

However, in my experience of driving in Europe many times in the past, I hardly remember encountering a situation where the right side of the road has priority because there is nothing to tell which side has priority.

I don’t think you see many crossroads intersections without signs or signals in places where there is a lot of traffic to begin with.

Of course, it is not absolutely impossible. However, if there is a crossroads-like intersection without signs or signals, it is likely to be a back alley in a city or a rural village.

Since people are walking and you can’t drive without slowing down normally, you can stop immediately no matter which has priority. Therefore, it is unlikely to be a problem.

This may be a story limited to Western Europe. I think it is especially noticeable in France.