A yield sign. Seems pretty basic and straightforward, and something we learned even before we got behind the wheel for the very first time.
So first things first. What are you supposed to do at a yield sign? If we see one of these signs coming up how do we prepare?
In its most basic terms, you slow down at a yield sign and only continue to go if safe. And if other vehicles prevent you from going, then you stop and wait until it’s safe to continue.
A basic concept that all drivers should understand when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, some drivers in New Jersey don’t seem to have a clue how a yield works.
Now before diving into it any further, let me just say this isn’t based solely on my observations. In fact, I recently saw an online thread from someone who was venting over those who don’t know what to do when driving toward these signs.
Long story short, this person witnessed an accident occur because someone failed to properly slow down while driving past a yield sign. From what seemed, it was only a fender-bender, but still.
Thinking of that post made me think of how many close calls I’ve seen with people failing to slow down while passing a yield sign. It seems so basic, but yet some struggle to know what to do.
Yes, the vast majority of those who drive in New Jersey do have common sense when they see this sign. I’m talking about the select few who either mess up the flow of traffic or cause an accident such as in the example above.
Yes, it’s OK to stop at a yield sign. In fact, that’s the law if it’s unsafe to continue driving.
However, there are also occasions where stopping isn’t necessary, but drivers do it anyway. For some reason, a select group of drivers panic when approaching this sign.
If after you slow down you’re clear to keep going, then keep going. There’s no reason to come to a complete stop if it’s not needed.
One place some drivers tend to come to a complete stop at a yield sign is on a highway on-ramp. For some reason, a full and complete stop is all they know.
This could lead to a very dangerous situation. If you come to a complete stop, you make it that much more dangerous to get up to speed once there’s a break in traffic.
Oftentimes, the yield on an on-ramp is meant for you to slow down until you can assess the safest point to merge with the flow. Once you determine it’s safe, use the acceleration lane to get up to speed.
Now yes, there are exceptions to the rule when a merge happens quickly with little to no acceleration lane. In cases like that, coming to a full stop might be necessary.
But that’s just one instance. There is one other instance in New Jersey where many drivers flat-out don’t know how to yield properly. And that instance has to do with our traffic circles.
Yes, some of our traffic circles can be confusing and improperly labeled. But the state has been working on correcting this to make them all uniform.
Technically, you’re supposed to yield to traffic already in the circle and not enter until it’s safe to do so. Some circles, however, have the yield either within the circle or as some sort of combination of those within the circle and those entering.
Regardless of where it’s placed, it’s vital to pay attention and always slow down wherever you see the yield sign. Far too many motorists feel they have the right-of-way, which can certainly lead to an accident.
And if you’re one of those drivers who can’t even grasp this basic concept, then maybe it’s time to study up on the rules of the road once again. Not only is it dangerous to ignore, but you can cause an accident or get a ticket if caught.