Failure to Yield


Drivers across America apparently need to brush up on road signs and their purpose; as if distractions aren’t enough today. So do you know what ‘Yield’ means at an intersection? It means you must SLOW down when approaching, while preparing to STOP and yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians in…or approaching the intersection. If you see a yield sign at a major intersection, such as a state highway, and traffic conditions are busy, you must come to a complete stop; there is no other purpose for this sign and drivers should be actively attentive to their surrounding conditions. As to part of the problem…why drivers don’t yield today…everyone’s in a rush, people like to be first and some drivers will make assumptions as to what the other vehicle will do. The ‘Failure to Yield’ signage continues to be ignored by much of the driving population, increasing the chances for collisions and fatalities in these types of intersections.

Dating back to the 1950’s, the first Yield sign read “Yield Right of Way” and was yellow with bold black letters; in hopes that it would reduce traffic incidents and assign clear blame to the party in question. By 1971the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) had changed the sign, stipulating it should be red with a white triangle in the center, with red letters; it was thought to stand out more (attention grabbing). Finding ways to get motorists to adhere to the signs posted throughout cities seems to be a problem; I’m not sure there is any clear answer. There are so many disrespectful drivers on our roads with disregard to safety. I once believed that the younger, first-time drivers were the biggest offenders on our roads, but realize they are not; motorists of all ages are inconsiderate and have tendencies to neglect the ‘failure to yield’ signs and their meaning. Another overlooked sign at corners…the Stop sign, with motorists rolling right through them all day long.

The existence of Yield signs were meant to be helpful, promoting safer measures while warning drivers to proceed with extreme caution at intersections. If you see one of these signs at a major highway with oncoming traffic, it’s always best to come to a ‘complete’ stop; especially when those having the right of way to turn left have a green light and you’re vehicle is opposite to them (across on the other side) at an intersection with a yield sign…for those going right. This is my biggest pet-peeve! I’m not sure people understand this type of intersection, and cars roll through this without ever looking across the way to see if someone might be turning. Instead they plow through like no one else exists on the road. It’s my hope that one day they place a stop sign there instead of a yield sign, which is constantly disregarded. I also wish that the DMV in every state would provide a ‘refresher’ course for aging citizens, as our roads become more congested. Some people may not see this as an issue, but the fact is…our roads are not safe like they once were; providing yield signs at corners were meant to be taken seriously, with caution. Next time you approach a corner with a sign, be more attentive and mindful of others at your location; let’s make a difference together and provide safer roads for all motorists.

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