Understanding Right of Way

If the world was connected by a single road, you would never need to know the rules of right of way (#deep). But that would be terrible, so let’s talk about what to do when you get to all different types of intersections and stop signs. Understanding right of way is an essential skill for being a safe, courteous driver. A lot of these rules are based on common sense and the ability to read a situation and make the right choice, but it’s also important to know the right of way laws rules so you can react with confidence and keep a clean driving record. You'll learn a lot about the topic when you take your driver education courses and take the test for your driver's course, but it's always nice to have a little extra info, or a place to refresh that knowledge if needed. Click the web page links below to get started viewing some of our videos on the topic and get on board with some good driving techniques.

Right of Way Instructional Videos

Right of Way Rules

  • Controlled intersections
  • Lights or signs
  • Uncontrolled intersections
  • No lights or signs
  • T-intersections
  • Different pavement surfaces
  • Different laned Roads
  • Left turns

Basically, anywhere one roadway/pathway intersects with another is when you need to be on the lookout for other drivers and pedestrians (even more than you usually are, anyway). Not only do you have to be aware of other vehicles and cyclists, but right of way rules also apply to pedestrians. In places of high pedestrian density, such as schools or parking lots, you will have to yield right of way to those not in vehicles to avoid pedestrian accidents.

When it comes to right of way, it’s better to be a giver than a taker. You can’t go around taking right of way all willy-nilly, but you also shouldn’t just give it away all the time either - or you’ll never get anywhere. Think of it as a compromise. If acting in a way that doesn't follow basic traffic rules, such as giving right of way when it is clearly yours to take, then you could cause driver confusion, which can cause an accident.

The last thing to remember about right of way is that you should always yield right of way to emergency vehicles. They’ve got forever dibs on right of way. If you see emergency lights flashing, pull over and let them pass no matter what. They've got important places to be. (Yes, a lot more important than that TV show you're rushing home to).

While right-of-way rules aren’t complicated, they’re very important to know and understand in order to be a safe driver. A large portion of deciding when it's your turn to go is simple logic. Take some time to check out our videos on the different rules for different intersections so you can feel 100% on the road and have a safe drive wherever you're going.