For ‘millennials:’ More impediments to your driving, I know… from observation.
The traffic light system used to work pretty well, when folks knew that “Yellow,” or “Amber” used to mean that the light was about o turn Red, and that the default was to stop. Today it carries an entirely different meaning (if it means anything).
Today when a traffic light turns Yellow it is purely a function of your distance from the light, and your speed. You may have to “punch it to make it.” This is if you are within a quarter mile of the light.
More often than not when the light turns Yellow, it’s not a problem. I typically will stop. If for nothing else, just to disrupt the day of the guy ‘tailgating’ behind me. (It’s kinda like stopping at Stop signs. Often I stop just to piss off the guy behind me – especially if I think he or she might be in a hurry, again indicated by tailgating. Because it’s the Law is just an added caveat.)
Another reason I will stop, even if I have to “get on it” is, I am kinda curious how those airbags will function when someone craters me from behind. I wore a parachute for over 13 years, and often wondered how it would have worked…
So, here’s what I have seen: If you are driving along and the light turns Yellow, keep going – no worries. If you are the Number 2 or the Number 3 guy, you’re still good. It get’s tricky being the Number 4 guy. If you can ‘tuck it in tight’ with Number 3, you’re good. That’s where your Nascar or Thunderbird experience really comes in handy. Beyond that, it’s a ‘crap shoot.’
Why this works is because folks have realized that it takes “time” for those slobs stopped at the Red light to process the light turning Green and to accelerate. They know that most people now are too busy texting, or sexting to notice the light changing. And Time is now on their side!
These days, when I am stooped at a Red light, even though I may be “switched on,” I give it a “5-count” before proceeding. This, more often than not, gives me the buffer I need to get through the light without being greased. On a couple occasions, a 7-count would have been more prudent.