The Yellow Traffic Light Dilemma: Should You Stop or Go?

May 17, 2017 Auto Accidents

Intersections are hotspots for car accidents. They are inherently dangerous, only made worse by the yellow traffic light dilemma. When the green light flips to yellow, should you stop or go? Should you slam on your brakes or should you press the gas?

Once the traffic light is yellow, you have a split second to decide what to do. Yet, a major survey by the car insurance industry found that nearly 85% of drivers could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a yellow traffic light at an intersection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that in 2012 more than 2.5 million cars were involved in intersection collisions, where traffic signals played a role.  Nearly 1-million people were injured or killed in these crashes.

Nebraska Yellow Light Law

There is no nationwide standard on what a driver must do at a yellow light. The proper action is dictated by state law and varies around the nation.

Nebraska law states that a driver facing a yellow light “is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection,” and when the light turns yellow “vehicular traffic shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection, but if such stop cannot be made in safety, a vehicle may be driven cautiously through the intersection.” Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-6, 123.

In Nebraska a driver should stop at a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so. A yellow light warns the driver that the light will soon turn red. It’s up to the driver to decide whether they can safely stop, and if not, they are to “cautiously” proceed through the intersection. This split-second decision may be the difference between safely arriving to your destination or ending up in a collision.

Approach Intersections Cautiously

We encourage all drivers to approach intersections cautiously, no matter the color of the traffic light. Stay alert because you may find yourself behind a driver who slams on the brakes at a yellow light. Or, you may find yourself proceeding through a green light while another driver runs though a red light.

For more helpful information, read our articles:

If you have questions about an intersection accident or accident liability, contact us (402)558-4900 to schedule a free personal injury case consultation.

Recovery For Your Injuries

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are on the roads, sometimes accidents happen. All of us here at Matthew G. Miller are highly experienced, skilled, and compassionate advocates for our clients. We’re dedicated to making a difference in the life of each person we represent. Combined our attorneys of Matthew G. Miller have more than 50-years of successful personal injury advocacy that is demonstrated by numerous testimonials.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us to schedule a free personal injury case consultation.

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Matthew G. Miller serves clients throughout Eastern Nebraska and parts of Western Iowa including Douglas County, Sarpy County, Lancaster County, and Pottawattamie County, as well as the cities of Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Elkhorn, and Council Bluffs.