The Yield Sign is one of the most commonly used – and misunderstood – signs found on the highways today. Despite being used regularly by U.S. traffic departments for many decades, drivers sometimes still find themselves confused about what to do when encountering a red triangle and its cryptic message. Does it mean they have to stop? When can they go? What about those situations when there is no traffic coming in the opposite direction. We’re going to talk a bit about those questions and more, but for now we’ll say that despite the uncertainty, a Yield Sign fulfills a specific niche in the world of traffic control and can be used effectively in several different scenarios.
The Purpose of a Yield Sign
Yield signs are used instead of stop signs when drivers should slow down and give the right-of-way to vehicles moving from another direction. In some cases, the right-of-way goes not to other cars but to pedestrians using the area to cross the road. Either way, it is incumbent on the driver at the Yield Sign to stop until such time that the roadway is clear. If there is no oncoming traffic (vehicular or pedestrian) coming from the other direction, a driver needs not stop at the Yield Sign. Still, it is good practice to slow to a near-stop to make sure that the lane is clear.
Ease the Stress of Merging
According to several traffic surveys, drivers get stressed by merging situations. It’s not difficult to understand why. Our streets already feel like ongoing competitions to see who can go first, who can get ahead of whom, and who can go the fastest. When you add a scenario that calls for increased discernment and patience, it’s only natural that drivers will feel the stress. By adding Yield Signs to merging traffic scenarios, you’re helping to ease that stress…if only slightly. Drivers facing the sign now have a clear mandate to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. If you’re having problems with merging accidents, a Yield Sign could help solve them.
Using Regulatory Signs on Private Property
Many of our customers come from the private sector, and they are looking for traffic signage to improve the safety of their private roadways and parking lots. In those cases, our customers sometimes wonder if they have to use the same signage as the city. For the most part, the answer is no – you can use customized signs if you choose. However, we still strongly recommend signage that at least resembles the official DOT versions. These are the signs drivers are familiar with, so you’ll be far more likely to get compliance if you stick with the same shapes and colors. We have Yield Signs that are indistinguishable from regulatory signs; indeed, they are often used for public projects by government clients.