Right-of-Way Rules at Controlled Intersections –  What to Do When Facing Stop and Yield Signs

Right-of-Way Rules at Controlled Intersections – What to Do When Facing Stop and Yield Signs

by Zutobi · Updated Feb 15, 2021

What Are the Rules When Facing a STOP Sign?

When facing a STOP sign, you must come to a full stop at the stop line and yield the right-of-way to all vehicles and pedestrians in or approaching the intersection. 

Follow these 6 STOP sign rules when driving to avoid pedestrian and car accidents:

  1. If there is no stop line, stop before the crosswalk. 
  2. If there is no crosswalk, stop before the intersection at a point which gives you a good view of the intersecting roads. Only move forward again when safe. 
  3. If there is a STOP sign with no pavement markings, stop near the intersection where you have a good view of approaching traffic
  4. If there is a crosswalk without a stop line, stop at the nearest crosswalk line.
  5. If there is only a stop sign, stop at the stop line
  6. If the crosswalk has a stop line, stop at the stop line
Where to stop in different situations when facing a stop sign

What Are the Rules When Facing a YIELD Sign?

When facing a YIELD sign, you must prepare to stop and yield the right-of-way to other vehicles or pedestrians in or approaching the intersection. 

However, you don’t have to stop unless there are vehicles/pedestrians in or approaching the intersection. Slow down to a speed at which you can stop and yield if needed.

What’s the Difference Between Stop and Yield Lines?

A stop line is solid, and a yield line is broken. Stop/yield lines have the same meaning as STOP/YIELD signs and should be treated as such.

Where Are STOP signs and YIELD Signs Located?

Both STOP signs and YIELD signs are used to control traffic, and are located:

  • at intersections where caution is needed due to poor or limited visibility
  • where vehicles on the other road have priority

The Right-of-Way Rules at Different Types of Controlled Intersections

2-Way Stop

If both you and an oncoming vehicle are facing STOP/YIELD signs, you must first yield to other traffic and then apply the right-of-way rules. 

The red cars must yield to any traffic not facing STOP/YIELD signs.

4-Way Stop OR All-Way Stop

A 4-Way Stop means traffic from all four directions must come to a complete stop. As all directions are facing a complete stop, the vehicle that reaches the intersection first should proceed first. 

The following right-of-way rules apply if several drivers reach the ‘4-way stop’ intersection at the same time: 

Rule #1 – Drivers on the left must yield to drivers on their right.

The red car must yield to the green car on its right

Rule #2 – Vehicles turning left must yield to oncoming traffic

The red car must yield to the oncoming green car

What Are T-Intersections?

The green cars have the right-of-way at this T-intersection

T-intersections are where two roads meet and one of them ends. The general ‘right-of-way rules don’t apply to T-intersections. The vehicle traveling on the road that ends must yield to all traffic and crossing pedestrians on the through road unless otherwise signed. 

A vehicle fails to yield and causes a near-fatal car accident

When nearing a T-intersection, slow down and watch out for pedestrians and traffic even if you have the right-of-way

Always Look Both Ways at Intersections!

Always look to both sides, even if other traffic is facing a STOP sign or red traffic light, as other road users can make mistakes or disobey rules. Remember, it’s your life on the line.

At any intersection:

  1. Look to the left. Always look to the left first as vehicles from the left will cross your path before vehicles from the right
  2. Look to the right
  3. Look to the left once more. Ensure you didn’t miss anything and it’s safe to proceed
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