Strange and Rare Road Signs of the World

Written by Carly Hallman

Most of us complain about our commutes, but most of us don’t have to deal with these kinds of road stresses: attacking moose, centaurs, crocodiles, falling cows, or, the most ominous, “road surprises.” Crazy things can happen on the road, it seems, so it’s no wonder that some of us are on edge. And you’re not even really allowed to complain about the insanity because honking in some places will land you a $350 fine!

Let’s simplify this. Wait … we can’t.

In most parts of the world, road signs are made to help us understand the insanity. That’s why so many of them strive to use pictures that are easy to process as you’re speeding down the highway. These weird street signs are meant to helpfully warn drivers of the chaotic things that can happen on a road (and give us the comforting illusion of the regularity of nature in a tumultuous world), but most of these signs are likely only going to cause confusion.

I’m in danger about what!?

Are they warning us about thin ice or zombies? About centaurs or horses without heads? And some, like the infinite stopping point that seems to be the end of the universe, or this terrifying roundabout of roundabouts (also known as the “magic roundabout,” likely because you have to be a wizard to traverse it properly), will cause drivers to panic and wonder what to do. Some of these weird street signs actually seem to make less sense the more you look at them.

Are these cultural differences, or do the people here believe that invisible cows exist?

Some of them may seem normal in certain parts of the world and bizarre to everyone else, such as those funny road signs warning of kangaroos, polar bears, landing aircraft, and immigrant crossings. (That’s harsh, San Diego.) Checking under your car for penguins before you drive may be strange here, but it’s just the polite thing to do while on Phillip Island.

Others seem to make no sense at all and should not be in any car-driving society, like the skidding car that seems to not obey the laws of physics or the sign that’s labeled “sign not in use.” (But it is in use, isn’t it?)

The invisible cows actually make some sense; the domestic Bos Taurus in Hawaii can seem almost invisible in the darkness due to their naturally dark color. But to the islands’ many visitors, the notion of disappearing cattle may be a bit confusing when speeding along on a vacation.

Don’t panic. Except do panic. Except don’t.

The most problematic of these bizarre street signs aren’t the ones that warn people to be cautious about a specific thing. The most problematic ones are probably the vaguest ones: What does “extreme crashing” mean, and how can I possibly avoid it? How occasional are those blinding dust storms, exactly? What kind of “surprises”? What do you mean there are “obstacles”?!

Without further adieu, here’s a collection of our favorite rare, obscure, sometimes downright strange, and funny road signs from around the world!

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15 Tips for Maintaining Your Car’s Value and Longevity

No matter the year, make, or model, there are steps you can take to help maintain your car’s value and longevity down the road. With a little time and consideration, these small steps can make a big difference when it comes time to sell, trade, or leverage your car. Even if you just want your car to last as long as possible, these tips can help!

Tips
1. The interior and exterior condition of the car is a major factor in determining value. Wash and wax your vehicle regularly. If you live in an area with rough, snowy winters, consider getting undercarriage washes to flush out salt that may lead to erosion and rust. This also applies if you live near a beach.
2. Invest $50-$100 in decent seat covers to protect the quality of interior leather or cloth seats, especially if you have pets or children.
3. Smoking can leave behind stains, discoloration, burns, and a tough-to-remove odor. All of these factors detract from the car’s value. Consider keeping cigarettes out of the car.
4. Clean up spills and trash as quickly as possible to minimize the potential for stains. While many interiors are designed to be stain-resistant, they are not meant to withstand long-term exposure. Make sure to research how to properly clean a particular stain to avoid making it worse!
5. If possible, house your car in the garage or keep it covered with a sturdy tarp. Weather and debris are major culprits in car wear.
6. To avoid parking lot blunders, be aware of where and how you park. Respect parking spot boundaries. Note if another car is too close to or overlapping a line. Open the door slowly and carefully to avoid obstacles. If possible, park away from other vehicles.
7. Park in the shade. Vinyl dashboards can crack under regular sun exposure, and UV rays can cause the paint color to fade over time.
8. Follow a regular maintenance schedule. This can help nip potentially drastic problems in the bud, saving money and value in the long run.
9. Get regular oil changes. Oil plays a key role in your car’s engine health. This relatively inexpensive task can prevent many problems in the long run. Use miles driven rather than a calendar date to determine when to change your oil next.
10. Drive gently and smoothly. Sharp turns, sudden stops, rapid acceleration, and rough parking jobs can speed up wear and tear on your car. Hard driving also burns more gas.
11. Research recalls. Search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s online database for potentially hazardous or detrimental recalls pertaining to your vehicle.
12. Try to minimize mileage. Mileage is a massive factor in your car’s value. When possible, consolidate trips, carpool, and go car-less a few days a month. Consider biking or walking to nearby locations to give your car a rest.
13. Be wise about aftermarket products. Recouping the cost of aftermarket products is easier said than done. You may like an additional product that a potential buyer doesn’t see the value of. Consider practical installations like auxiliary electronics connections and bed liners for trucks.
14. Check fluids regularly. At every oil change, ask the mechanic to check and top off the engine oil, power steering fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid if needed. This keeps the car running smoothly.
15. Save receipts for oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, car washes, and any other services. This verifies that the vehicle has been well cared for over time, giving peace of mind to potential interested parties.

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