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What Does the Flashing Yellow Left-Turn Signal Mean?


The Palm Beach Post recently reported that drivers in Boynton Beach are having to adjust to the installation of several flashing yellow arrow signals that allow left-hand turns against oncoming traffic. County traffic officials say the yellow flashing arrow makes roads safer and moves traffic more efficiently than the solid circular green indicator it replaces. However, local drivers don’t seem to view this transition as being such a smooth or beneficial one. The news outlet also reported that on Facebook pages devoted to Boynton Beach, nearly all comments regarding the new signals either demonstrate confusion or predict some form of a traffic apocalypse caused by reckless drivers.

Thus, in this blog we will attempt to clarify the flashing yellow left-turn signal.

What is the Law Regarding Flashing Yellow Signals?

Florida statute 316.076 indicates that when drivers see a flashing yellow signal, they should adjust how they proceed. These rapid intermittent flashes are intended to signal to drivers that they should proceed through the intersection or past signal with caution.

However, as the Post reported in the above-mentioned article, what exactly the appropriate level of caution is can vary among drivers in the exact same scenario. Traffic officials stress that drivers must wait for a “safe gap” in oncoming traffic before they turn left. In contrast, the news outlet referenced videotape footage of one of the new flashing yellow signals in noting that what a safe gap is appears to be a matter of opinion. The video demonstrated that while most drivers patiently waited to turn left, others at the intersection steered in front of oncoming traffic with little room for error.

What Should You Do When You’re Waiting to Turn Left at a Flashing Yellow Light?

Left turn accidents can lead to devastating injuries and fatalities. Additionally, a driver can be held responsible for an accident if he or she moves into an intersection when it wasn’t clear during a yellow flashing arrow and negligently causes an accident. Therefore, every driver should undertake certain actions prior to attempting a turn at a flashing yellow light. These actions include:

  • Be cautious
  • Evaluate potential hazards before proceeding
  • Yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians
  • If it’s safe to do so, make a left turn

Allow Us to Help.

If you have already been injured in an accident because of another driver’s reckless or negligent behavior while making a left turn, you should turn to a legal professional that you can depend on. Life after a car accident can be hard. You probably have physical and mental residuals of what you have experienced that affect not only you, but your family members. Besides ensuring that you receive the medical care you need, one of the best things you can do when you are injured in a car accident is to seek a lawyer experienced in car accident injury claims. That way, you can focus on your recovery while a professional works to help you collect compensation for medical bills, loss of wages, disability, and other losses related to your injuries. As the experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys of the Pendas Law Firm, we have helped many people in similar circumstances and we have the experience that you need to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today to begin.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers and Daytona Beach areas.




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