No matter where you drive, it seems impossible to get away from traffic lights and signs designed to keep you safe. Keep right, reduce speed, construction ahead - the list goes on and on.
But what if those signs weren't displayed? Would you still know what to do?
Take uncontrolled intersections, for example. Without a stop sign or traffic light, determining the right of way at these locations can be tricky. Here are a few simple tips to help keep the roads safe for everyone:
Do not drive through an uncontrolled intersection under the assumption that you have the right of way. It's extremely dangerous and could result in a collision, putting you and those around you at risk of serious injury or death.
Instead, slow down and prepare to yield. Look both ways and proceed only when it's safe to do so.
Who goes first?
When more than 1 vehicle is stopped at an intersection, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right. When it's your turn to go, look both ways, roll forward slowly and use caution as you enter the intersection.
If you're turning left at an uncontrolled intersection, you need to give the right-of-way to oncoming traffic.
Entering a street from a driveway or private road can also be problematic. In these situations, you need to yield to all drivers on the roadway before proceeding. The same rule applies when turning on to the highway from a country road.
Pedestrians always have the right of way
As a motorist, you must stop for pedestrians who are preparing to cross at marked and unmarked crosswalks. You also need to stop for wheelchairs, motorized wheelchairs, medical scooters and people walking beside their bicycles because they are considered pedestrians as well.
Give way to emergency vehicles
Ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles with lights flashing and sirens sounding take priority over all other traffic. Pull over to the side of the road and do not proceed until emergency vehicles are safely through an uncontrolled intersection.
Ignoring the rules of uncontrolled intersections can be serious. On average in Saskatchewan, there are more than 5,500 collisions at urban uncontrolled intersections resulting in 6 fatalities each year.
Uncontrolled intersections in rural areas are just as dangerous with almost 750 collisions resulting in 18 deaths annually.
Help everyone on the road stay safe by respecting the dangers of uncontrolled intersections. Know what to do when you approach one and always be cautious of those who don't.