Delivering Results Since 1998

What are Missouri drivers supposed to do at a yellow light?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Car Accidents

Drivers in Missouri have to carefully monitor their surroundings. As they approach intersections, they need to check for traffic signs and lights while also watching what other vehicles do. The longer it has been since someone attended a driver’s education course, the blurrier their recollection of certain traffic rules may become.

Eventually, they may start violating the law because they misremember information. For example, a surprising number of people see a steady yellow light at an intersection and immediately accelerate to make it through the intersection before the light turns red. However, that may not always be the best option. What do Missouri traffic laws indicate drivers should do when approaching a steady yellow light?

Yellow lights serve as a warning to drivers

The color of the light illuminated on a traffic signal indicates what approaching drivers should do. A steady red light indicates that drivers must stop and that they cannot legally enter the intersection. Green lights typically mean that they can approach and proceed through the intersection.

A steady yellow light indicates an imminent transition between a green light and a red light. Therefore, someone who sees a green light turn yellow has to make a decision. Often, people err on the side of expediency by trying to rush into the intersection before the light turns red.

In some cases, that may not be the right choice. In fact, police officers could declare someone at fault for a crash if they proceed into an intersection under a steady yellow light and that directly contributes to a collision occurring. The volume of traffic and the timing of that specific traffic signal can both influence the right decision to make when a light turns yellow.

Those hoping to err on the side of caution may want to stop and wait until the light turns green again both to minimize crash risk and the possibility of being culpable for a wreck. Those approaching a flashing yellow light at an intersection generally do not need to stop or yield, but the yellow light is an indicator that they should approach with caution.

This is just one example of why reviewing Missouri traffic statutes from time to time may help people better handle changing traffic conditions while out on the road and to better avoid culpability in the event of a collision.