What should you do at a yellow light?

A common question that is posed to (accredited) accident reconstructionists is:  “What am I LEGALLY obligated to do when I approach a yellow light?”

The answer, according to the Texas Driver’s Handbook is:

Caution – red light coming up!  You must STOP before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection, if you can do so safely.  If a stop cannot be made safely, you may proceed through the intersection before the light changes to red.

As for the “law”, the actual (Texas) law does not dictate what one must do at a yellow light (Texas Statutes – Section 544.007: TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNALS IN GENERAL):

(e) An operator of a vehicle facing a steady yellow signal is warned by that signal that:

          (1) movement authorized by a green signal is being terminated;


          (2) a red signal is to be given.

Of course, laws may be different in your state.  Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle safety or your state’s specific Transportation Code.