As a professional driver, you should know exactly what this traffic sign means. But, do you? The YIELD sign can mean any one of several things.
You must make a decision
Although the YIELD sign is issuing you a command, it also calls on you to make a decision — it asks you to use good judgment.
You'll find YIELD signs posted at intersections and at highway entrance ramps. When you see one, the first message it should convey to you is slow down. Although the law may differ on this by state or locality, you should slow down to 20mph or less as you approach a YIELD sign.
The second message you should get from the sign is you don't have the right of way, cross traffic (both right and left) has it.
After you have slowed to a reasonable speed, one of two things will happen. First, if there is traffic and you cannot proceed safely, you must come to a STOP. And, you must wait for a safe interval in traffic before proceeding.
Or, you may be able to proceed without stopping — that is, if there is no danger of your interfering with cross or flowing traffic.
Think of a YIELD sign in this way: A YIELD sign is a STOP sign with a built-in convenience factor — when conditions are right you may proceed (after slowing down) almost as if it wasn't there.
Now, let's consider the YIELD sign in terms of other drivers. Do they know exactly what it means? You shouldn't count on it. Protect yourself, drive defensively.
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LC DEC 2018 LC 11-389