Traffic engineers know what you're thinking. And they know that sometimes you're wrong about the decisions you make behind the wheel.

That's why cities across the country have started installing flashing yellow arrows above left-turn lanes.

According to research from the U.S. Department of Transportation, these blinking signals can actually get drivers to make safer choices behind the wheel — even if some people find the signals confusing.

Researchers studying driver behavior found that when people saw a round, green light above their turn lane light up, many would reflexively hit the gas instead of yielding to oncoming traffic.

When people blow through left turns without yielding, they can end up in dangerous car crashes. Crashes that involve left turns, called approach-turn crashes, made up 8 percent of Fort Collins' total crashes and 14 percent of the city's severe injury or fatality crashes from 2012 to 2016.

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