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What Yielding the Right of Way Means

When you go through driver’s education classes as a teenager trying to acquire your driver’s license. You learn a lot about the ins and outs of road rules. One such rule is when certain drivers on the road have the “right of way”. You may have also discussed what it means to yield the right way and when you may do this. However, if it’s been a while since your days of driver’s ed or if you are still confused about the concept, here’s what you should know about yielding the right of way.

What is the “Right of Way”?

Simply put, the right of way is a helpful determinant of who “goes first” when at a controlled intersection or 4-way stop sign intersection. Controlled intersections are those with traffic controlling infrastructure, like lights or stop signs. Uncontrolled intersections do not have these instruments.

How and When Do I Yield the Right of Way?

Yielding the right of way is simple at a controlled intersection. If you and another vehicle arrive at a stop sign intersection simultaneously, you should yield—that is, give over—the right of way to the person to your right. You can indicate this with hand signals or your headlights if needed. At uncontrolled intersections, you should always yield to the car already at the intersection or ones that arrive before you. When in doubt, you can yield to the car to your right, as with controlled intersections. If you encounter a “T-intersection,” which is when you are on a dead-end road and are turning onto a two-way road, you should always yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

Helpful Things to Remember

There are some additional things to remember when you’re out on the road and are not sure about the right way in the situation you are in. It would be best if you always yielded: at a yield sign; to pedestrians; to visually impaired or using a guide dog; when turning left; and driving on an unpaved road that intersects a paved road.

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