Slippery When Wet
The Slippery When Wet road sign (W8-5) warns of unexpected slippery conditions ahead. The sign is often installed near bridges and overpasses. This is because bridges tend to be more slippery than the rest of the pavement during cold and wet weather conditions. In winter, bridges tend to freeze first and dry out last.
The sign is often mixed up with the Winding Road sign. Make sure you can tell them apart.
Beneath the sign you may see a supplemental plaques with legends such as ICE, WHEN WET, STEEL DECK, or EXCESS OIL. These indicate the reason for the slippery conditions.
The Slippery When Wet sign belongs to a group known as Surface Condition Signs. Other signs in this group include: Loose Gravel sign, Rough Road sign, and Bridge Ices Before Road sign.
What You Should Do
In cold or wet weather, start slowing down when you see the sign. Avoid hard braking or sudden turns. Fast or sudden maneuvers may throw your vehicle into a skid. Make sure you increase your following distance to any vehicle ahead, since it takes longer to stop on a slippery surface.
U.S. Warning Signs
The Slippery When Wet sign is an example of a general warning sign. These signs are usually diamond-shaped with a yellow background. When installed in work zones, the same warning signs have an orange background.
The basic shapes and background colors of American road signs are part of the free online practice quiz. You may see the same questions on your state’s written knowledge test when you apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit. Being able to recognize road signs from a distance can be very useful in many situations.
Take this quiz and see how many warning signs you know: U.S. warning signs