California Motor Vehicle Code 21803
Indications of Yield Signs
Yield signs are typically triangular in shape, pointing downward, and either red or yellow. The signs read "YIELD" and mean "give way" to cross traffic.
When a driver approaches an intersection that has a yield sign posted and facing the driver, he must slow to the oncoming traffic which has the right-of-way. The driver at the yield sign may continue into the intersection when the road is clear and no other vehicles are close enough to pose an immediate hazard to the driver as he progresses through the intersection.
Yield signs are not stop signs, but should be treated similarly. The yield sign indicates that a driver be cautious of on-coming traffic, and that the driver is responsible for waiting until the intersection is clear. While yield signs do not require drivers to make a complete stop, drivers should be prepared to stop, but can continue if no oncoming traffic is blocking the road.
Drivers can expect yield signs to be posted on through streets that meet highways, at crossroads of divided highways, on separated turn lanes, at intersections where special problems are occurring, or facing roadways that merge but require extra control due to inadequate acceleration geometries or sight distances.
If drivers fail to yield to oncoming traffic when a yield sign is posted collisions may occur where vehicles must merge.