Drivers are just realizing the easy way to tell exactly how long a yellow light will last on every road

DRIVERS are realizing that it’s difficult to know how long an amber light stays on on any road.

A TikToker made the reveal on the social media platform, which saw people thank him and say, “I needed that thank you.”

Drivers always weigh the risks of running a yellow light


Drivers always weigh the risks of running a yellow lightPhoto credit: Getty

“No more hitting my breaks!”

The TikTok page (@themakeshiftproject) shared a clip of them sharing the “yellow light trick.”

One of the tiktokers said, “Do you know how long the yellow lights last at traffic lights?”

“What if I told you that it matters?

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“If it’s 55 mph, the amber light lasts five and a half seconds. It is divided by 10.”

The other TikToker replied: “Ahhh so if it’s 25mph it’s 2.5?” I never knew that.”

The couple called it a “game changer.”

According to Chapter 4D of the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices: “The uniformity of design features affecting the traffic to be controlled, as set forth in this manual, is particularly important to safety and efficiency of operation.”

“These features are designed to reduce frequency
used to indicate the start of the amber change interval when high-speed oncoming vehicles are in the ‘dilemma zone’, causing the drivers of these high-speed vehicles to have difficulty deciding whether to stop or continue.

It goes on to say: “A yellow change interval should have a minimum duration of three seconds and a maximum duration of six seconds.”

“The longer intervals should be reserved for higher speed approaches.”

“Practitioners should use technical judgment in determining the minimum yellow change interval.”

Although these times vary from state to state, the National Motorists Association states that the general rule for engineers is that the amber light be on for at least three seconds on roads with a 25 mph speed limit.

Then it’s recommended that for every five mph increase in the speed limit, add another half second of length to the yellow light.

Meanwhile, the speed of the lights can also change depending on the time of day.

According to a report in New Jersey, “The timing of a traffic light can vary depending on the time of day.”

“During morning and evening rush hours, for example, Route 1 is allocated more green time to keep traffic flowing.


TaraSubramaniam is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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