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Have you ever found yourself at an intersection wondering what the flashing yellow arrow signal means?

Sometimes approaching an intersection can be hectic with all the processing that is required and while a green light means go, it’s the flashing yellow that tends to throw us off. Today, we will quickly explain the meaning behind the flashing yellow arrow on our “On the Road Series” so you will never feel confused at a traffic signal again!

What does the flashing yellow arrow mean?

A flashing yellow signal simply requires drivers to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding with their turn. Turns are permitted when there is a gap in traffic and the appropriate space to safely maneuver.

The flashing yellow left-turn signal is more common now as it replaces the green light ball. A simple way to understand the flashing yellow arrow is if the light is flashing, proceed with caution.

Why are you seeing more flashing yellow arrows?

Recently, you may have noticed more and more flashing yellow signals.

This is because states have elected to use the flashing yellow arrow traffic signals instead of the green light ball you may have witnessed in the past. Why?

With a solid green in the left turn lane, you still have to yield to oncoming traffic. This can sometimes cause confusion as most drivers view green means go! Using a flashing yellow left-turn arrow makes drivers come to a stop before proceeding.

Most side collisions occur at intersections where traffic crosses the path of oncoming traffic. Safety is why you are seeing flashing yellow arrows nationwide as approved by the Federal Highway Administration.

A flashing yellow arrow is used at high-volume intersections.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some frequently asked flashing yellow arrow light questions:

How to approach a flashing yellow arrow?

The approach motorists want to use when they approach a flashing yellow left-turn arrow is to stop, scan the oncoming traffic situation, wait for a safe turning opportunity, and then proceed with caution.

Can you turn on a flashing yellow arrow?

Yes, you can turn on a flashing yellow arrow since flashing yellow arrow signals “Yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, then proceed with caution.” Oncoming traffic has a green light which means you have to give priority to those motorists.

Most drivers naturally respond to green as “Go” and a red light as “Stop.” Because of this, the flashing yellow left-turn arrows have been implemented more frequently since they cause drivers to pause.

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