What should drivers do when a traffic light is out?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Car Accidents |

In 2021, there were 381 fatalities in accidents at intersections in Georgia according to the Office of Highway Safety. Intersections are dangerous as vehicles must cross paths. When traffic lights are not working, it can make these areas even more hazardous.

When encountering a traffic light that is out of order, drivers need to know how to proceed safely to prevent accidents.

Most important rule

The main rule to remember is to treat an intersection where the lights are not working as a four-way stop. This means that all drivers must come to a complete stop and yield the right of way to other vehicles per the law. The requirements are to give way to the vehicle that arrived first. If multiple vehicles arrive at the same time, the right of way proceeds in a clockwise direction.

Maintain communication

Communication becomes paramount in such situations. All drivers should use turn signals to indicate their intentions. This helps other drivers understand what others are going to do and how they may maneuver through the intersection.

Be patient

Drivers also must practice patience and prepare for delays. Intersections without working traffic lights usually experience a slower traffic flow as drivers navigate the stop-and-go process. Drivers must avoid impulsive or aggressive maneuvers to speed up the process as this can lead to accidents.

When it comes to non-functioning traffic lights consistency is important. Drivers must follow the rules for every intersection without a working light. This consistency helps prevent confusion and promotes a more organized and predictable traffic flow.


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