Who has right of way at an intersection? Believe it or not, even experienced drivers taught by our AMA Fleet instructors sometimes get this wrong.
How to Negotiate Safely
Drivers must yield to vehicles already in the intersection. Once you know this basic rule, here are some other right-of-way situations and how you can negotiate them safely:
- Four-way stop intersections: Yield to the vehicle that reaches the intersection ahead of you. If two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on your right.
- Uncontrolled intersections: When approaching an uncontrolled intersection (with no traffic signs or traffic signal lights), scan for traffic approaching from your left and right, use caution and yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on your right. If the intersection is hard to see, slow down, cover the brake pedal and be prepared to stop.
- Unless otherwise directed by a traffic control device, when two drivers approaching from opposite directions reach an intersection at about the same time, a driver turning left must yield to approaching traffic going straight or turning right.
Navigating Traffic Circles
Unless otherwise directed by a traffic control device:
- A driver entering a traffic circle must yield the right-of-way to drivers already in the circle.
- While in the traffic circle, the driver on the right must yield right-of-way to the driver on the left.
Regardless of the situation, the rule of thumb should be that right-of-way is given and never taken. As a conscientious company driver, you have a responsibility to avoid a crash.