Advanced traffic signals: Whoa or go?

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- A study from Clemson University focuses on advanced traffic signals and how they may help prevent accidents.

These signals are blinking signs that alert drivers when a light is about to change from yellow to red. Although the study's results prove that these signals helped drivers predict their situation, some argue it only provokes people to speed up.

In the study they address the idea of the "dilemma zone."

According to the study, the dilemma zone is when people are driving up to an intersection and the light is yellow. At this moment, they must decide quickly whether to go through the light or stop.

WMBF News caught up with an instructor from the Guardian Driving Academy to ask what the school teaches students about yellow lights and intersections.

Driving Instructor Phillip Labasi feels that a safe intersection just does not exist. He feels that people are in a rush and all want to get through an intersection at the same time. He says a blinking light before the traffic signal could go two ways.

"A good driver is going to see that and he's going to slow down and stop. A not-so-good driver is going to take that as well I better speed up and get through the intersection."

WMBF News also caught up with members from SCDOT's engineering department.  They said that is exactly what happened. They said we have had these traffic warnings and that once people got used to them...they would speed up to make the light.

You can find Clemson's study here.

Labasi feels that one thing, and one thing only, may make drivers want to stop rather than speed through yellow lights. He says cameras at intersections may make people think twice before putting the pedal to the metal.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.