Traffic signals are perhaps the most common things you need to care about while driving. They play a very important role in traffic management. Of course, since there are multiple vehicles on the road at any time, there has to be a system to avoid collision and this is done using the signaling system. There is a Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) in place that makes sure everyone on road is safe.
The roads are used not only by cars but also cyclists and pedestrians and their safety is equally important. Bicycles and pedestrians walk much slower and are more exposed to the outside world compared to trucks and cars. Though there are different lanes for bicycles, standard reflectors help a lot in making them visible to the fast motorcycle and car drivers. Traffic signals tell you when to stop and when to go forward on a road. Areas like schools and hospitals see a lot of pedestrians. The traffic signals make the fast moving vehicles stop for a while so that others can cross the road. You should only walk or drive when the traffic signal is green for you. Moving while the red signal is displayed can be dangerous and fatal.
Traffic signals work in synchronization with the others so that there is no traffic jam on the road. These days traffic signals have also become intelligent and are programmable to a great extent. The duration and frequency of green and red light depends on the traffic on the road at that time. So you do not have to wait for the light to turn green for minutes when there is no one on the road. Similarly, when the traffic is high, the light remains green for a longer time so that more people can move at a time. Changing traffic signals too soon during such times makes things more inconvenient for everybody.
Traffic signals are very important and useful way to ensure safety on the roads. If everyone follows the traffic signals, there would be very few accidents on roads.