The maybe best solution ever I've seen in Austria. Here is a quick comparison between US vs. Austrian traffic lights.
It should be noted that Austrian drivers are far better trained and disciplined than their American counterparts.
The problem isn't the light sequences, the problem is the mentality that thinks "yellow light means gun it" and "fuck anyone else as long as I get through".
Basically, their lights flash green 5 times before they go to yellow, giving you ample time to know that the green period ends. Also, before switching to green, it shows red and yellow for about a second or two to give you an idea that you should put your car into gear and prepare to accelerate, thus improving the reaction time of people and improving the usage of the green phase.
All in all, a WAY better solution. Of course their law also says that there is ZERO grace period for entering with a red light. You have ample time to know it's going red. Actually, I don't even know whether there isn't already some kind of provision that you're supposed to not enter when it goes yellow.
The thing is, whether this works depends entirely on the attitude of the driver.
In Thailand traffic lights often have counters that indicate the time to the next change (no amber lights on these intersections). However the local mentality is that you can go for the first 3-5 seconds of Red and you can start to proceed on the last 3-5 seconds on red. This kind of attitude means that 24,000 people die on Thai roads a year or 36.2 per 100,000 pop, almost 3.5 times the United states with 10.6 per 100,000 pop and over 12 times the UK numbers at 2.9 per 100,000 pop (Austria is 5.4).
The lights here in the UK flash amber before green, this is a sign to most motorists to put the vehicle in gear and prepare to move off and by and large works quite well. However I'm originally from Australia and with the attitude of Australian drivers the UK system would only increase traffic accidents as you get two types of drivers at a traffic light, the one that misses it because they're on their phone and the one that's on their horn exactly 0.00001 second after it turns green.
Point in short, to make the Austrian or UK system work, you need disciplined and responsible drivers like you get in Austria or the UK.