Even experienced drivers can sometimes be unsure of how to approach green traffic lights. The worry is that the lights will suddenly change and force them to either do an emergency stop or run the red light. Is there a way to deal with the approach to green traffic lights that you can confidently use to be safe and unhesitant in all circumstances? Yes there is!
On the approach to a green traffic light, you should keep your foot on the gas and maintain your speed until you reach your minimum safe braking distance from the traffic light’s stop line. In other words, keep your foot on the gas until the last point where you feel you could safely stop behind the stop line if you applied the brake.
Once you’ve reached this point:
if the light turns amber, check your mirror, and using the brake bring the car to a safe, smooth, controlled stop.
if the light is still green you should commit to going through the light (we don’t do emergency stops for traffic lights) so you should GENTLY go back onto the gas pedal and continue without stopping. It’s not uncommon for the light to turn amber as you reach the stop line, but it would be unsafe to stop at this point.
If you use this technique for approaching green traffic lights you can be confident that you will not be forced to either run red lights or perform emergency stops at them.