Severe storms can knock out traffic signals. What NC drivers should do on the road

Thousands of power outages have been reported across North Carolina as heavy rain and strong winds from Hurricane Ian remnants continue to pummel the southeast.

During severe weather, it’s likely that some traffic signals and lights will stop working. But there are laws in place to keep drivers safe on the road in the event of a power outage.

Here’s what to do if a traffic signal stops working, and how to report it:

Treat intersections like stop signs exist

When a traffic signal at an intersection is not working due to a power outage or other malfunction, drivers are required to treat the intersection as an all-way stop, according to state law. This law does not apply when traffic is being directed by a law enforcement officer or another traffic control device.

At an all-way stop, the first vehicle to reach the intersection should move forward first, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation. If two vehicles reach an all-way stop at the same time, the driver on the right should proceed first.

When two facing vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, both drivers can continue straight or turn right, according to NCDOT. If one driver is going straight while the other wants to turn left, the driver who wants to turn left must yield.

How to report a traffic signal outage

Traffic signal problems can be reported by submitting a malfunctioning traffic light form on the NCDOT website.

When filling out the form, you should leave a follow-up phone number so a technician can reach you with any additional questions, according to NCDOT.