There are several types of intersections, each with its own challenges. It’s a good idea to practice driving through each type of intersection with your teen.
- Two-Way Intersection: Two one-way streets intersecting can be pretty straightforward, but drivers always need to check both ways when arriving at the intersection. Pedestrians, emergency vehicles or impaired drivers may be traveling the wrong way.
- T-Intersection: The major road, or the top of the “T” of the intersection, has right-of-way generally, but it is important to watch for any vehicles as your teen enters traffic.
- Y-Intersection: When three roads meet, you may have a lot of traffic crossing lanes and merging. Slow down, scan and give right-of-way to those who are not crossing lanes of traffic.
- Four-Way Intersection without signals (or when signals aren’t working): Four lanes of traffic meeting can be a real hassle. The first driver who arrives gets to go first. If you tie with someone, it is safest to yield to the driver on your right. Be careful—not everyone follows these guidelines.
- Roundabouts: More common in Europe, roundabouts are starting to appear in the U.S. They occur when multiple streets meet and, instead of crossing, form a circular lane of traffic. These can be difficult to maneuver for a new driver. Teens should slow down, watch for new cars entering the flow of traffic and know where they are going before entering the roundabout. Those in the roundabout have the right-of-way. Do not stop or pass other vehicles. Use signals when entering or exiting. And if you miss your turn, go around the circle and try again.
After some practice, these different intersections will be less of a challenge. Remind your teen: Never assume you have the right-of-way.