How to React When Traffic Signals Go Down

Author: Auger Law | April 14th, 2017

Reflector LightIf you are like many drivers, you got your license many years ago. It’s not unusual to forget the things we learned, especially when we were teenagers. It’s even more common to forget the information we never have to use. One of the things most often forgotten when it comes to driving is how to behave when traffic signals go down.

You may remember what to do when the light at an intersection goes out. Then again, maybe you have forgotten. Read on for a quick reminder on what to do when the lights go out.

1. Intersections

When you come to an intersection and notice that the lights aren’t working, treat it like you would if there were a stop sign present at each corner. Let vehicles that are already in front of you go first. If you and another vehicle arrive at the same time, yield to the vehicle on the right.

2. Flashing Red Light

A flashing red light is the same as a stop sign. When you get to an intersection with a malfunctioning red light, come to a complete stop. Yield to any vehicles that have made it to the intersection before you, and always yield to pedestrians no matter where they are.

3. Flashing Yellow Light

Flashing yellow lights mean to yield. You can proceed through the intersection with caution, but you should give the right of way to any vehicles that have already made it into the intersection. Yield to pedestrians as well.

In some cases, especially when power is not restored in a timely manner, there may be temporary signs placed at the intersection or even police officers present directing traffic. Obey these signs and officers, no matter what you believe you should do otherwise. At any time there is a light that is not working at an intersection, drive more cautiously than you normally do. Be prepared for other drivers to not know how to behave, and proceed carefully.

It is not a bad idea to call the local police department’s non-emergency number to report a light out. They may have already received a report, but they may not have. Police cannot respond to a light outage if they don’t know that it exists.

When traffic lights go out, it is fair to say that the chance of accident rises. There are laws to follow when the lights aren’t working, meaning that if you are involved in an accident, it may not be your fault. When this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for any injury or property damage you incur.

Call our team of experienced accident attorneys if you are involved in a car accident in North Carolina. We will review the details of your collision and advise you of your legal options. Your first consultation will be held at no cost to you. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Posted In: Car Accidents