Road Rage and Yield Signs
A recent video’s been making rounds on the blogosphere of a purported road rage incident. Dashcam footage seems to show a driver brake checking – hard braking to make the person behind him stop suddenly – the recording party, only to flub it terribly. You can check out the animated image here.
In the extended footage, it shows that the driver recording the incident witnessed the other driver stopping at a yield sign – and decided the best course of action was to lay into his horn.
Let’s be clear: in this case, both people acted like jerks, and it could be argued that the person recording was the main jerk in it all.
But this video sparked a debate on social media on the purpose of a yield sign, and whether or not it was proper safety etiquette to actually stop at a yield sign. After all, yield means to slow down and only slow down, right?
Well, not quite.
Stop Signs = Stopping Required
First, let’s talk about stop signs. Even if you haven’t taken any driver’s ed, you should recognize the signature red octagonal signs.
When you come across a stop sign in a vehicle, you are required to come to a full stop and assess the road before going on your way. Even if there are absolutely no cars around for miles to see, you must stop. You never know when an animal, child, or a careless pedestrian will come darting out of nowhere, putting themselves (and yourself) in danger.
Same goes for red lights at traffic signal stops. When the light is red, you stop until the light turns green. Simple enough, right?
Yield Signs = Slow Down, But Stop When Necessary
Yield signs are a little trickier to grasp. Characterized as an upside-down white triangle bordered by red, yield signs predominantly mean to slow down. It’s used as a warning sign that there may be something up ahead that requires you to slow down and be cautious of your surroundings.
This may be a turn into a major road where cars may be zipping past (like in the aforementioned road rage video), or it may be displayed near schools to let you know that children are afoot.
In such cases, the point is to slow down for cars or other people, defer to other cars and incoming traffic, proceed when safe, and stop when necessary. There may be a traffic jam disallowing you to enter the major road, or there may be children crossing in front of you. Just because there’s a yield sign displayed doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk and keep on moving – a yield sign means that you should not only be cautious during the event, but also extra cautious for moments following as well.
Stop vs Yield: A Summary of Who is Right
We’ve seen many a tweet and opinion online about how people who stop at yield signs can be some of the most annoying drivers on the road. Annoying or not, they’re actually practicing proper safe driving skills – because after all, better stopped than sorry.