Letter of the Law – Navigating the “T” Intersection

It’s your friend’s housewarming party, and he has invited your family to his new neighborhood, one you are not familiar with.  It’s late, it’s dark, and you’re in an unfamiliar area.  As you’re trying to navigate the twists and turns of this incoherently constructed subdivision, you notice a mini traffic jam forming.  In front of you seems to be a big yard with some garden gnomes, but on both your left and right you spot other vehicles slowly approaching on a perpendicular road.  But weirdly, none of you seem to have stop signs.  Luckily, you are familiar with the intricacies of the “T” intersection after reading Scott Warmuth law blog.

It is, in fact, your responsibility to stop at this particular intersection, even though you do not have a stop sign.  According to the California DMV Rules of the Road:

At “T” intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, yield to traffic and pedestrians on the through road. They have the right-of-way.

The DMV handbook also points out that there may even be some full 4-way intersections without any stop or yield signs.  If that happens, the first vehicle into the intersection has the right of way.  If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right of way, similar to how drivers would navigate a 4-way stop sign.

See the full DMV Right of Way Rules of the Road here.

Regardless of whether there are any traffic control devices at a T intersection, if you are approaching the intersection from the non-through road it is important to slow down and survey your surroundings.  You are being forced to turn and should evaluate the roads for any other vehicle traffic or pedestrians before proceeding.  This is especially important if you do not have a stop sign.  It is also important to note that even if you were on the through road, it is important to drive carefully, especially in residential neighborhoods.

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps people who have been injured in car crashes through no fault of their own.  Our auto accident attorneys can help you seek medical treatment, repair damaged vehicles, recover lost wages, and seek compensation for pain and suffering.  We provide free consultations and provide our services risk free: if we do not win your case you will not be charged for any attorney fees.  Call us today at 888-517-9888.

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