How Long Do Yellow Lights Last in Louisiana? Well, That Depends on Where You’re Driving
How's your timing when it comes to yellow lights?
If your timing is terrible, don't feel bad—because you're definitely not alone. Most of us have trouble nailing the timing on yellow lights because the goalposts are quite literally always moving.
A few weeks ago I was traveling through Wyoming and there were at least 2-3 instances where my timing on yellow lights was atrocious. I'm talking, like, not even close; I'm just thankful I was in the middle of nowhere with no traffic around.
This definitely carried over to my return to Louisiana because I immediately found myself slamming on the brakes way too dramatically with plenty of time to spare from the yellow light. At that point, the light bulb (maybe it was yellow?) went off in my head.
I hit the Google machine to see if yellow lights were regulated federally, statewide, or locally; almost instantly found the federal guidelines that offered up a pretty wide variety of yellow light times.
Federal guidelines recommend that yellow lights last between 3 and 6 seconds.
I also learned that yellow lights can vary from city to city and are usually tied to speed limits. Remember that light bulb we talked about earlier? That's when it really went off.
When I was driving in Wyoming, even though the roads were wide open, the speed limits were relatively low—likely due to the abundance of wildlife in the area.
So, where I would usually be used to double the time here in Louisiana on most of the streets, my time to react to the yellow lights out west was literally cut in half.
I didn't want to dig much deeper, but I was able to find this easy guide that made it fairly simple to understand.
25 MPH -- 3.0 Seconds
30 MPH -- 3.5 Seconds
35 MPH -- 4.0 Seconds
40 MPH -- 4.5 Seconds
45 MPH -- 5.0 Seconds
50 MPH -- 5.5 Seconds
55 MPH -- 6.0 Seconds
If you wanna get way more technical and read the letter of the law when it comes to yellow lights in Louisiana, feel free to dive into RS 32:232.
I can give you the most important information out of all of that and tell you that, regardless of the length of the yellow light, your vehicle cannot enter the intersection once the light has turned red.
Even if you've been driving Wyoming for a whole week before that. Safe travels!