TEXAS, USA — As it gets warmer outside and the country gradually opens up, vehicle officials expect more people are driving on the roads. They want to remind people of rules and guidelines to be aware of when approaching yield signs.
"It is a yield sign, and that's what it is intended for. So you don't have to come to a complete stop. Although some folks do," Johnny Bures with the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
However, Bures said there are times when people stop at the yield signs. He wants to remind all drivers to be aware of these instances, as other drivers are making sure the traffic is clear before proceeding into the intersection safely. He sometimes said other drivers do not notice the stopped vehicle.
"You have someone who is stopping at the yield sign in front of you, and you want to make sure that you're giving yourself enough time and distance to stop behind them so that you don't collide with the rear end of their vehicle," Bures said. "When you approach a yield sign, it's not that you have to come to a complete stop. Sometimes you may have to stop, so if you're yielding to the right of way or someone on the roadway before you safely proceed into the intersection. The yield is a slowdown and checks before you proceed into the intersection and make sure that it is safe to do so."
According to the Texas Department for Public Transportation, fatalities in traffic crashes in rural areas of the state accounted for 51.69% of the state's traffic fatalities. As of 2019, there were 1,866 deaths in rural traffic crashes.
Tanya Brown, TxDOT Abilene public information officer, said not adhering to the rules is sometimes because of a lack of knowledge, or someone may be in a hurry, for example. Regardless, Brown explains.
"You're merging in and off of the roadways, off a highway or interstate. It has a white line, and typically, you have to yield. So you're not supposed to cross over the solid lines. The broken lines are the ones you can cross, and then the colors of the roadway stripping mean something too. If it's yellow, it's two-way traffic. The problem is that people need a refresher course, or maybe they are in a hurry or don't care," Brown said.
If one needs to brush up on drivers' rules specific to Texas, the driver's handbook can be downloaded and reviewed dps.texas.gov/internetforms/forms/dl-7.pdf. Safety tips can be found there as well.