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The flashing yellow left-turn signal: What does it mean?

March 16, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

A lot of car accidents happen around flashing yellow left-turn signals.  So today as part of our series on little-known or understood traffic laws in Michigan, I thought I would clarify the flashing yellow left-turn signal.

This is a relatively new signal in Michigan. It’s now being implemented nationwide and will be required at all intersections that have left turn signals. Because it’s so new, we’ve seen a number of drivers get confused by what to do, and a number of car crashes have resulted from driver confusion on what to do on a flashing yellow.

The short answer on what to do when you’re waiting to turn left is:

Be cautious, and after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, make your left turn.

If you see a solid yellow arrow, it means that you must prepare to stop, or complete your left turn if you’re in the intersection and it’s safe to do so.

Here’s a video from the Michigan Department of Transportation that quickly explains the flashing yellow left-turn signal.

Here’s more information from MDOT on the flashing yellow arrow left-turn signal.

Related info:

Yielding laws in Michigan

What’s the law for making Michigan lefts?

 

 

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