As you approach an intersection facing a green traffic signal, you sometimes find yourself in an awkward position when the traffic signal changes to amber, and you need to make a choice about whether you should firmly apply your brakes and stop, or continue through the intersection.  You are not far enough away from the intersection to make the clear choice to stop, nor are you close enough to make the clear choice to continue through.  You are in what scientific research calls the “dilemma zone”.

Research has revealed that the probability of whether or not a driver will tend to stop when faced with an amber signal depends on several factors, including: the distance from the intersection, the type of vehicle being driven, and whether an adjacent vehicle is continuing through.

Investigations of claims which involve a vehicle that entered an intersection on an amber signal (or just after the signal switched from amber to red) must take into consideration the human factors affecting drivers’ choices when in the dilemma zone.


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