Britain is a country with more roundabouts than people, or at least that's the case where this writer lives... or Milton Keynes; but according to surprising new research, more than half of UK drivers don't know the roundabout sign.

The shocking revelation came about after a survey conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart which investigated UK drivers' awareness of road rules.

More than 50 percent of drivers said they didn't recognise the sign, while more than two thirds (68 percent) said they didn't know the two second rule for following other drivers in dry weather – 53 percent of drivers surveyed mistook the two second rule for two car lengths, but at 60 mph that gives a gap of less than a third of a second.

"This is truly shocking," said Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research. "The outcome of the survey brings to light some frightening statistics which demonstrates the need to constantly re-fresh on-road knowledge.”

UK roundabout in residential area

"With many young drivers showing high levels of traffic sign ignorance these results reinforce IAM RoadSmart’s view that road safety education should be taught as part of the National Curriculum in schools to prepare teenagers for their future driving career," he added. "Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their test, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users."

In addition to the roundabout sign, only 43 percent of drivers said they recognised the Highway Code ‘dual carriageway ends’ sign – those aged between 17 and 39 in the survey were the biggest group of people to get that wrong.

Presses the emergency stop button in the car

The survey also revealed that almost half (48 percent) of those surveyed were unaware that the first thing you must do when arriving at the scene of the accident is to turn on hazard lights to warn other drivers.

Over half were unable to say that circle shaped signs give orders – drivers aged 70 onwards statistically scored below average on this question; and only two-thirds of those surveyed admitted that they were unable to recognise the colour of the reflective studs between a motorway and its slip road, with only one in five (20 percent) of those aged 17 to 39 answering correctly that they are green.