Car Crash: Amber Traffic Light Dangers

Sent in by a visitor. Most people have probably never thought that stopping on amber traffic lights can potentially be dangerous. Or maybe most people are aware. After all, driving on the roads in general poses a threat to ones safety. Especially these days with there being more cars on the road than ever before. Add to that the increased impatience of people, where everything now has to be instant. And also distractions like Smartphones, SAT-NAVs, passengers and Android stereos, where you can now watch movies, sitcoms etc.


Not forgetting some people potentially driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (drink / drug driving). Put all these dangers together, and the considerably high chance of being unfortunate enough of coming into contact with at least one of them at some time or another the more years you are behind the wheel, and you can see how many potential dangers there are. Combined, and going on the law of averages, it's a potent recipe for potential destruction to you and your car.

Such is the case when considering whether to stop at an amber traffic light or not. Of course, the rules are, if you can make it through safely then that's perfectly within the law. However, just because you can make it through safely, what about the driver behind you, do they also think they can make it through before the light turns red.


And what happens if this thought process is reversed. Your intention is to stop on Amber because you feel it is the right thing to do, and there isn't enough time to make it before the light turns red, but the person behind you thinks they can sit close to your bumper and make it through while the light is still on Amber. But then you stop for the amber light, when they believe you are going through. That scenario has all the ingredients for a crash. And I bet an accident under these circumstances happens almost daily in the UK.

I was the victim of such a crash. I stopped on an amber light, but the driver behind me thought I was going through and they tried get through themselves, travelling too close behind. Needless to say, their vehicle went straight into the back of mine causing quite a lot of damage to me and my car. Their vehicle was a lorry / dumper truck. My car ended up being an insurance write-off and my injuries have slowly been healing.

However, mentally I can't say that this incident hasn't made me feel a bit apprehensive when stopping on an amber light, because in the back of my mind I don't truly know if the driver behind has the intention of trying to make it through the lights. I suppose this will fade after a while, and to be honest, it is becoming less of an issue week after week.

But as of right now, I have started going through more amber traffic lights if I'm close enough to safely make it through (and looking in my rear view mirror to see what the driver behind is doing) rather than stopping at them. Safely of course. While this is perfectly legal if you're too close to stop, I used to side more with caution and stop on amber almost all of the time, so its definitely the after effects of the crash which have altered the way I react at traffic lights. Got a story you want to share? Get in touch.


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