Is A Blinking Yellow Arrow Safer Than A Solid Green Light?

Federal regulators and some state officials think so. As a result, Texas drivers may see a new traffic light feature in the near future. In response to research indicating that a solid green light sometimes gives drivers the wrong impression that they have the right of way when making a left hand turn, Federal regulators are requesting that states and cities replace the solid green light that indicates a permissible, but unprotected left hand turn, with a blinking yellow arrow. The City of Arlington will begin testing these new lights following the Super Bowl. The hope is that the new lights will reduce the number of car wrecks caused by drivers that fail to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic when making a left hand turn at an intersection. A video of how the new light will work can be viewed below, and you can read more on the proposed changes here.While I have not reviewed the research and really cannot render an opinion as to whether a blinking yellow arrow is really much safer than a solid green light, I do know that a large number of car wrecks result from drivers failing to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic while attempting a left hand turn. From my experience litigating these cases, driver inattention and impatience play a large part in these accidents, and I’m not really sure the color of the turn signal will eliminate these causes. However, considering the large number of deaths and injuries on our roadways, all efforts to make our streets safer should be considered and objectively evaluated.

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