Umleitung Sign – Meaning & Driving Tips

What does the umleitung sign mean?

In Germany, one of the most important signs you should be familiar with is the Umleitung sign. Umleitung is a German term that means “diversion” or “detour” in English.

It is a vital sign that directs drivers to alternative routes when the usual route is blocked or closed. We will look closer at the Umleitung sign, its design, and what it means for drivers.

What is an Umleitung Sign?

In Germany, this traffic sign is used to indicate a diversion or alternative route. It is usually placed before the point where the road is closed, and it directs drivers to follow a different route to reach their destination.

The sign is mandatory, and drivers must follow it to avoid getting lost or stuck in traffic.

Design of the Umleitung Sign

It is arrow or rectangular-shaped with a yellow background, and the word “Umleitung” is written in bold black letters. The bright yellow colour of the Umleitung sign is highly visible and stands out against the background, making it easy to spot from a distance. The word “Umleitung” is written in bold black letters, further increasing its visibility and ensuring that the sign can be read easily.

The arrow or rectangular shape of the Umleitung sign indicates the direction drivers should take when following the diversion. This helps to ensure that drivers stay aware of the situation when navigating their way around road diversions.

Additionally, the sign’s shape is standardized across Germany, making it easy for drivers to recognize and understand its meaning.

Types of Umleitung Signs

Drivers may encounter different types of Umleitung signs on the roads in Germany. Some of these signs include:

  • Temporary Umleitung sign: This sign is used when a road is temporarily closed, such as for roadworks or an accident. It directs drivers to an alternative route that they should follow until they can rejoin the original route.
  • Permanent Umleitung sign: This sign is used when a road is permanently closed, such as for construction work or a change in the road network. It directs drivers to a new route they should follow instead of the old one.
  • An umleitung sign with a destination is used when the diversion route leads to a specific destination, such as a town or city. It indicates the direction that drivers should take to reach their destination.

What to do when you see an Umleitung Sign

When you see an Umleitung sign, you should follow it until you reach the end of the detour. It is important to remember that the diversion is mandatory, and failure to follow it may result in a fine. Drivers should also follow any additional signs or instructions they may encounter along the diversion route.

Also read: Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip


The Umleitung sign is an important sign that drivers should be familiar with when driving on the roads in Germany. It directs drivers to alternative routes when the usual route is closed or blocked and is mandatory to follow.

By understanding the design and meaning of the Umleitung sign, drivers can navigate their way around road diversions safely and efficiently.

You can learn more about traffic signs here. Traffic signs and their meaning.

Waheed Akhtar
Waheed Akhtar, an experienced driver in Germany. From speed limits to parking etiquette, his insights will make you a pro on German roads. Connect with him for expert insights on driving in Germany.


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