What Is an Uncontrolled Intersection and How Do You Approach It Safely?
November 14th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Most everyone knows that an intersection is a point at which two or more roads or streets join together. An uncontrolled intersection is just what it sounds like – an intersection with no stop signs, stoplights, or other traffic controls. As you might figure, you are more likely to find uncontrolled intersections in less populated rural or residential areas and they are more likely to be three-way and four-way intersections.
When you approach an uncontrolled intersection, it may feel like you’re in the Wild West. It doesn’t need to feel that way – just because there are no traffic signs doesn’t mean there are no traffic rules and expectations. Drivers who aren’t familiar with the rules or intentionally violate them are more likely to get in a car collision. And even if people are driving at a relatively slow speed, these types of car accidents can cause serious injuries to the passengers and damage to their vehicles. This is why we are starting to see more roundabouts and traffic circles in residential areas.
Who has the right of way at an uncontrolled intersection?
What should you do if you approach an uncontrolled intersection, and who has the right of way? Generally speaking, the right of way is determined by the order the cars arrive to the intersection, and where they are positioned. If you arrive first, you get to go first.
If two drivers reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the right has the right of way. If you are the driver on the right, you still need to slow down and approach cautiously before proceeding.
If it’s not clear who got there first, the nod goes to the driver on the right. In some (but not all) states, drivers don’t need to come to a complete stop at an uncontrolled intersection, but they are expected to slow down and be on the lookout for other cars and pedestrians.
How should you approach an uncontrolled intersection? Here are some uncontrolled intersection rules that can help drivers avoid an accident in this situation.
1. Exercise caution.
When you encounter an uncontrolled intersection, reduce your speed. Slowing down is important even if there are no other cars in sight.
2. Let cross-traffic proceed.
If there is another car trying to pass through the intersection, stay back and give it time to pass.
3. Scan left and right.
After you get to the intersection, look both ways to make sure no speeding vehicles are headed your way and that it is safe to proceed.
4. Know your right-of-way rules.
If another car arrives at an uncontrolled intersection at the same time as you, the car on the right side has the right of way. Remember, if you want to avoid a conflict or just feel like being nice, you can yield your right of way to the other driver with a friendly hand gesture or nod of the head.
5. When it is your turn and the coast is clear, proceed through the intersection.
If you know the rules of the road and practice your uncontrolled intersection rules, you should be fine. But unfortunately, there is always the potential for an accident. If it happens to you or your family members, please know that Fix Auto USA is open for business and ready to serve you. Bring your car to your local Fix Auto USA body shop and let our highly trained and certified technicians take good care of your car – and of you.
To schedule a service appointment, please contact us online or call us today at 800.INFO.FIX.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Riverside, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing Riverside County.
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