Do you know the name for the special 8-sided shape of a stop sign? The mathematical word is octagon!
In the U.S., all stop signs are bright red octagons – and for some good reasons! The only street sign that uses an 8-sided shape is the stop sign, which helps drivers from far away to quickly recognize this important sign. It also lets a driver in the other direction know which sign is facing you without being able to read the front of the sign… when someone sees an octagonal street sign, they know right away what it means!
Another reason why stop signs have eight sides is that in general, the more sides a street sign has, the more important its message is! Eight is about as many sides as you can squeeze onto one street sign, so it’s the designated shape of one of the most important signs: STOP!