What Does a Yield Sign Mean?
Facing a Yield Sign simply means to give the right of way, or let another road user go before you. Sometimes, you may have to stop to let the other go first. Other times, you may have to stop because you don’t have visibility. And other times, you may not have to slow down because there is clear visibility and no one to yield to.
Jump to a section:
- What is Yielding?
- Stop Signs & Yield Signs
- Upside Down Yield Sign
- What Kind of Signal do You Need for Yielding?
- Which Traffic to Look Out for When Yielding
- Turning Right
- Turning Right Then Left
- Green Light – Which Traffic to Look For
- Red Light – Which Traffic to Look For
What Is Yielding?
To yield simply means to give the right of way. In other words, to let the other road user go first when there’s a potential conflict.
Right of way technically is defined as “That space at that time”
- You don’t necessarily need to stop if there’s no one to yield to
- When you face a yield sign, you must yield to any road user, including cyclists, pedestrians, or vehicles already on the road.
- But do be prepared to stop, which means slow down, stop if necessary and wait for a safe gap.
What Does A Yield Sign Mean – Stop Signs And Yield Signs
The difference between a stop sign and a yield sign
- At a stop sign, you are always legally required to stop, even if you can tell that there are no other road users anywhere
- At the yield sign, you are only required to stop if there are other road users to yield to
- Sometimes, you have to stop at a yield sign because visibility is bad
- That means, you don’t know if it’s safe or not because you can’t see
In that case, you need to stop or slow down greatly in order to check for safety
Upside Down Yield Sign
The upside down yield sign is basically a ‘caution’ sign
That’s right, the upside down yield sign means ‘caution.’
- You may see it when trucks break down on the side of the road or during incidents on the road
- It means basically be careful, may be a good idea to slow down
- You will find these in emergency kits. The idea is to warn other people that you might be in trouble and/or having some kind of issues
- There may be people wandering around on the road
Notice how your Hazard Light button has the same symbol?
How peculiar is this?!
What Kind of Signal do You Need for Yielding?
Typically when you’re faced with a yield sign, you are simply turning right.
This is a right turn, isn’t it?
So simply use your right-turn signal just like you would for any other right turn.
You are still turning your car from one road to another road, with the new road being to your right (well, usually, but sometimes you will need to yield to the left, which sounds a little less common).
Not all right turns are exactly right.
Which Traffic to Look Out for When Yielding
Pro tip: the colour of the traffic light matters
It tells you which direction you need to pay attention to. I.e. ‘where to look’ – which is one of the most difficult things to learn as a new driver.
Signals: Turning Right At The Intersection
Signals: Turning Right And Then Left
The only time I would recommend using a left signal would be after the right signal; and only if you’re planning to go directly into the left lane, like this…
Green Light Yielding: Which Traffic to Look For
Usually if you’re yielding while facing a green traffic light (if you know what I mean), you typically need to watch for left-turning vehicles.
Do not assume that the left turning vehicle will turn all proper into the left lane and stay in the left lane, driving down the road, off into the sunset, living happily ever after.
It is not uncommon for drivers to then want to go immediately to their right to enter into a gas station, for example.
If you’re not sure, wait. You are in control. Don’t allow yourself to turn simultaneously so that your vehicle is beside the other vehicle. Stagger and play it safe. This is a part of being a defensive driver.
Red Light Yielding: Which Traffic to Watch For
If you are yielding while facing a red light, you typically need to watch for regular ‘through’ traffic from your left.
You may no longer need to yield to left turning vehicles (although, keep in mind there may be an oncoming left turning priority arrow).
If you aren’t sure whether it’s safe or not to go, wait until you’re sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Take your time, there is no rush.
If the driver behind you is impatient, ignore them. The decision – and all consequences that come with it – are yours, not theirs. Amen.
Yield basically means ‘let the other road users go first.’ The yield sign is found at places where two or more road users may come into potential conflict. If you can tell there’s no one there and it’s safe, then you don’t have to stop. If you can’t tell because of poor visibility, you may need to stop or almost stop in order to determine safety. Take your time, there’s no rush.