Have you ever thought about why traffic lights have the 3 specific colors they do? A weird question, I know, but why were those specific colors chosen?

Not it matters for many of us here in the Garden State. Some NJ drivers consider traffic signals more like guidelines rather than actual rules. How many times have you seen somebody blatantly run a red light? I'm not talking about an accident, either. I'm referring to seeing someone actually floor it when they had plenty of time to stop.

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It happens in New Jersey more than you might think.

The colors on traffic lights were actually chosen for good reason.

Traffic light turns green
Photo by Eliobed Suarez on Unsplash

Standard traffic light colors

It's not news to you that traffic lights typically have three colors - red, yellow (or amber), and green. This color scheme was chosen because it provides clear and intuitive communication to drivers and pedestrians about when to stop, proceed with caution, or go.

🚦 Red: Red universally signifies "stop" or "danger." When the traffic light is red, it instructs drivers to bring their vehicles to a complete stop before the intersection or designated stop line. This helps prevent accidents and ensures the safety of vehicles and pedestrians crossing the intersection.

🚦 Yellow: The yellow or amber light serves as a transitional signal between red and green. It warns drivers that the signal is about to change and that they should prepare to stop or proceed with caution. In many places, it indicates that drivers should clear the intersection if they are already in it but should not enter if they haven't crossed the stop line yet.

🚦 Green: Green universally signifies "go" or "safe to proceed." When the traffic light is green, it signals drivers that they have the right of way to proceed through the intersection safely. However, drivers must still exercise caution and yield to pedestrians and other vehicles as necessary.

This standardized color scheme is easy for drivers and pedestrians to understand regardless of their language or familiarity with local traffic laws, contributing to overall road safety and efficiency.

traffic lights at night
Photo by Jonny Rogers on Unsplash

New color may soon be added to NJ traffic lights

Researchers have stated that they believe it may be time to add a fourth color to the mix. Sources have reported that white lights have been suggested as a way to signal to drivers that a self-driving car has entered the intersection. The idea is when a human sees the white light, they'll know to follow the self-driving car to keep the flow of traffic running smoothly.

With the increase in self-driving vehicles on the road, perhaps the time has finally come to cross that bridge? No doubt, the people in charge of making this a reality will have PLENTY of kinks to work out before we see these lights come to fruition, but it might happen sooner than you think.

P.S. Don't forget, cops are cracking down on distracted driving this month...

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LOOK! Why New Jersey men claim we're never, ever lost driving

It's more or less a combination of skill, and stubbornness.

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