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Yellow traffic light isolated against cloudy sky

Why You Shouldn’t Run a Yellow Light

Why You Shouldn’t Run a Yellow Light

You’re approaching an intersection when the light turns yellow. You hit the gas and push through, but a car in cross-traffic goes through the intersection and t-bones you. This scenario is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t run a yellow light.

How Yellow Lights Cause Crashes

There are two problems with yellow lights. First, there’s no standard for how long a light should be yellow. Federal guidelines allow local communities to set their yellow light length based on the speed limit and traffic flow. This means your hometown might have six-second yellow lights, but the next town has three-second lights. Once you’re in the intersection, there’s no way to know how much time is left.

That’s a problem because of cross traffic. Drivers who get a green light while approaching an intersection may not slow down in time to avoid someone passing through the intersection during the light change.

This is especially common at intersections with visible crosswalk timers. When drivers can see the count down, they’re less likely to slow down when approaching an intersection, which makes them more likely to cause a side-impact crash.

Crashes Caused by Yellow Lights

The kinds of crashes we’ve described are usually t-bone collisions (also called side-impact). These tend to be much more dangerous because the car is designed to absorb hits from the front and back. The sides of the car provide almost no protection to drivers and their passengers, meaning that crashes tend to be much more severe.

While t-bone crashes make up just under 10% of all U.S. car crashes, they are responsible for 20% of all car crash fatalities and even more serious injuries. If you or someone you love were seriously injured in a t-bone crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your case with our experienced car accident attorney.

To schedule an appointment at Dunk Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (800) 674-9339 or send us an email.

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