Menu

What you should know about driving through intersections

Though many will argue “right of way,” the law knows no such designation. Knowing how to act in an intersection can save lives, time, and money.

Birds eye view of an intersection with semi truck and cars

Many commercial businesses use trucks or fleet cars to run their operations. In the U.S., intersections are responsible for a number of accidents and many deaths each year. Though many will argue “right of way,” the law knows no such designation. Knowing how to act in an intersection can save lives, time, and money.

Intersection controls

Stop Lights

A green light means “proceed with caution.” However, even though you may have a green light, be mindful of the cars around you and ask yourself, is it safe to enter the intersection?

A yellow light means “begin to stop.” Yellow lights were installed to give the intersection time to clear, not to give the next three cars the opportunity to go through the light.

A red light means “stop.”

Stop Signs

  • Drivers must yield where necessary to avoid striking pedestrians who are legally crossing the road.
  • Drivers crossing a sidewalk while entering or exiting a driveway, alley, or parking lot must yield to pedestrians. It is illegal to drive on a sidewalk except to cross it.
  • Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming vehicles going straight ahead.
  • At a four-way stop, the driver reaching the intersection first gets to go first (after coming to a complete stop).
  • Drivers entering a road from a driveway, alley, or roadside must yield to vehicles already on the main road.
  • At an intersection where there is no stop sign or traffic signal (with the exception of roundabouts), drivers must yield to vehicles coming from the right.
  • When approaching a roundabout intersection, always yield to traffic in the circle and pedestrians in the crosswalks. Wait for a gap in traffic before entering.

Yield Signs

If the intersection is clear, then you may proceed with caution. Otherwise, you must stop. A rolling stop is sufficient for a yield sign if the intersection is clear.

Open Intersections

If the intersection has no controls or no controls on your path of travel, you should slow to ensure that the intersection is clear and proceed only when it is safe. You should be ready to stop though, if necessary.

Avoiding intersection problems

Always yield the right of way to whoever wants it. You are driving defensively, so if another driver wants to be aggressive and take the right of way, let them do so. Give up your right so you can avoid the accident.

Turn from the proper lane, if turning is allowed. Always be decisive. If you are going to turn, you should turn. If you made a mistake, proceed forward until you find a safe spot to turn around.

Use extra caution around larger vehicles. Larger vehicles such as trucks or semi trucks require a longer stopping time. Give extra space and be patient with these large vehicles. If you are in a large truck, keep extra distance between cars and other vehicles as they may make stop immediately or perform quick lane changes.

Use your signals. Put on your turn signals in the correct direction 100-300 feet before you turn.

Find an agent

Our independent agency partners will help you compare coverages and share industry insights as you shop for the right insurance policy for your needs.

Related articles

What is a catalytic converter and what should you do if yours is stolen?

Learn more about catalytic converters, why they’re being stolen, and what to do if you find your business in this scenario.

Help eliminate blind spots while driving

The National Safety Council fully endorses engineer George Platter’s method to eliminate blind spots by adjusting a vehicle’s mirrors, and can be used in your company vehicles to improve driver safety.

Wet roads ahead: Prepare your employees and vehicles to drive on wet roads

With winter snow melting and spring rains mixed with oils on the road, they can be more slippery than expected. Follow these tips to stay safe in a watery world.

Coverages may not be available in all states. Coverages described are subject to all the terms and conditions of the policy, including deductibles, exclusions, and limits of liability. Not all agents are authorized to write all types of insurance. Policies may be underwritten by SECURA Insurance Company or SECURA Supreme Insurance Company, affiliated companies referred to collectively as SECURA Insurance Companies. Please read the policy carefully. Any claim example is for educational and informational purposes only. The information in this document will not be used to determine the coverage of an actual claim presented. All claims are adjusted based on the relevant facts, conditions and coverages at the time of loss. For specific terms and conditions, please refer to your coverage form. Coverage is also subject to applicable deductibles and limits of coverage.

The information provided by SECURA on its Website (the Site) is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however SECURA makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information on the Site. The information contained on the Website is to the best of our knowledge true and accurate at the time of publication, however it is generally to be used solely for informational purposes. The materials on this website are not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up to date. You should not act or rely only on information on this website.

The Site may contain (or you may be sent through the Site links to other websites or content belonging to or originating from third parties or links to websites and features in banners or other advertising. Such external links are not investigated, monitored, or checked for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness by SECURA. SECURA DOES NOT WARRANT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY INFORMATION OFFERED BY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES LINKED THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY WEBISTE OR FEATURE LINKED IN ANY BANNER OR OTHER ADVERTISING. SECURA WILL NOT BE A PARTY TO OR IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHALL SECURA HAVE ANY LIAIBLITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF THE SITE OR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE SITE. YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND YOUR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION ON THE SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

SECURA would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate.

SECURA and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss of damage as a result of your reliance on the information contained within this website.