Avoiding Accidents at Traffic Light Intersections

We’ve all been in the situation when we’re approaching a traffic light intersection and then suddenly the traffic signal changes to amber. Should you slam on your brakes to ensure that you stop behind the solid white line? Or should you speed up to try and beat the light? Traffic light intersections are, unfortunately, a common space where accidents occur. But by following the correct road rules, they don’t have to be.

Understanding The Amber Traffic Light

When you encounter an amber traffic light, it indicates that you should stop before the solid white line if it’s safe to do so. You should think of an amber light as the start of a stop light, rather than an extension of a green traffic light.

If you’re too close to the solid white line when the traffic signal turns to amber, it may not be the safest option to slam on your brakes. Stopping unexpectedly when the driver behind you may not be maintaining a safe following distance or doesn’t have sufficient time to react could result in your vehicle being rear-ended.

It’s also unsafe to brake if it means you may be stopped after the white line or in the middle of the intersection. In this situation, it may be best to continue through the amber light at the same speed while being cautious of any traffic passing through the intersection.

An amber light is the start of a red light, and you should stop before the solid white line if it's safe to do so.

However, if you have enough distance from the solid white line, you should slow down and bring your vehicle safely to a stop behind the line rather than speeding up to beat the light.

Obeying The Red Traffic Light

In all circumstances, you need to stop at the red light. Not stopping at a red light is both dangerous and illegal. Running a red light increases the chances of being involved in an accident, and the possibility of getting a fine or demerit points.

Green Traffic Light Means Go

If the traffic light is green for you, it simply means you have right of way to cross an intersection. Keep in mind that your vehicle is not allowed to block an intersection, even if the light is green for you. You should only cross the intersection if there is enough space for your vehicle on the other side of it.

A green light means you have right of way - but only if you can cross the intersection - your vehicle is not allowed to block an intersection.

Turning At A Traffic Light Intersection

Sometimes there may be an arrow on a traffic light to assist drivers who are turning either left or right. Like the circle displays that change colour, turn signals let drivers know when they are allowed to turn.

A green arrow on a traffic light means that you have right of way, and you can turn if it’s safe. In the same way that an amber circle display indicates that you should stop before the solid white line if it’s safe to do so, you should only go through a yellow arrow at a traffic light if you are unable to stop safely before the solid white line. A red arrow at a traffic light means that you must not turn. You should stop behind the solid white line and wait for the red arrow to disappear or turn green.

In instances where there is a green traffic light but no turning arrows, you should wait for oncoming traffic and pedestrians to clear before turning right. If the light changes to amber or red while you’re waiting in the intersection, turn right as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Keep in mind that road rules may vary between states and territories – for example, in Victoria, hook turns are common at traffic light intersections. It’s always best to keep up to date with what is legal in your own state or territory.

Hooks turns are a common occurrence in Victoria - especially in Melbourne.

What Happens If Somebody Hit My Car At An Intersection But It Wasn’t My Fault?

If you were following all the correct rules but somebody hit your car, you may be eligible for an accident loan car. Right2Drive might be able to provide you with a like-for-like accident replacement vehicle for the entire duration of your repairs and at no cost to you. Simply get in touch with our team or apply online now.

Frame 239093

Not At Fault after An Accident?

Right2Drive offers expert fault assessment & like-for-like accident replacement cars.

Share this article:

Other Articles

Every Australian Road Sign Explained

Every Australian Road Sign Explained

Understanding Australian Road Signs can sometimes feel like deciphering a complex language. Road signs play a crucial role in guiding…
Victorian Parking & Stopping Rules Explained

Victorian Parking & Stopping Rules Explained

Navigating the intricate parking laws in Victoria is essential for all drivers to avoid fines and ensure road safety. Whether…
Who Is At Fault In A 4 Car Pile Up?

Who Is At Fault In A 4 Car Pile Up?

A 4-car pile-up is a serious and complex type of multi-vehicle accident that involves a chain reaction of collisions among…
;
Not At Fault after An Accident?

Right2Drive offers expert fault assessment & like-for-like accident replacement cars.