Have you ever been driving down the road and come up to a yellow light? You know you’re supposed to stop, but you’re not sure if you have enough time. How long are yellow lights? Do you slam on the brakes and risk getting rear-ended? Or do you try to make it through the intersection and risk getting a ticket? Or worse, causing a car accident?
If you’re tired of playing the guessing game, there’s a simple trick you can use to tell how long a yellow light will last at an intersection. All you need to do is look for the posted speed limit sign and do this trick (keep reading to find out).
How To Calculate The Length Of A Yellow Light
The federal government recommends that yellow lights last between 3 and 6 seconds. However, the actual length of a yellow light can vary depending on the local speed limit. For example, in a 25 mph zone, the length of a yellow light should last at least 3 seconds. In a 45 mph zone, the yellow light should last at least 4.3 seconds.
The posted speed limit sign will tell you the speed limit for the intersection. Once you know the speed limit, you can use the following formula to calculate the approximate duration of a yellow light:
- Yellow light duration (seconds) = Speed limit (mph) / 10 + 3
- For example, if the speed limit for the intersection is 45 mph, the yellow light should last approximately 4.8 seconds (45 / 10 + 3).
Use This Trick To Know How Long A Yellow Light Will Last
Knowing how long a yellow light will last can help you to make safe and informed decisions while driving. Just remember this trick and use the posted speed limit sign to calculate the approximate length of the yellow light.
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.