Driving At Intersections


Driving at intersections isn’t glamorous. But, it’s something you have to do if you’re going to actually get where you’re going. And, if you want to get there in one piece, you must do this well. Not to be dramatic. It’s just the truth.


Driving instructors like to break it down into little pieces so that learning about driving at intersections isn’t too intimidating. It’s complicated enough.


Some of our most popular intersection articles



Intersections are the #1 most common location for collisions to happen. After that, parking lots are the #2 place, if you can believe that. Most collisions happen ‘close to your home.’


I suppose this is because people start thinking about other things, aren’t as cautious; they’ve driven down that road 1 million times and they’re kind of on auto-pilot. But they shouldn’t be.


Everyone knows about the normal turns, but do you ever wonder if you can turn left on a red light? Do you ever wonder about whether you’re supposed to pull into the intersection while you’re turning left?


Turning right on a red light is something a lot of new drivers hear you can do. A lot of them don’t realize that you must fully and completely stop first. That’s just good to know. Simple math. Red means stop.


Green means go, right? Not really. Green means that it might be safe to go, but you still need to check by scanning from left to right before you enter intersections.


Especially when the light first changes to green. That is the most dangerous time. Drivers may be trying to ‘beat the light.’


Did you know it’s not actually illegal to change lanes inside an intersection in Beautiful British Columbia? It’s just a very bad idea.


What about yield signs and upside down yield signs? Those are found at intersections, too.


Intersections are a lot when you’re new at driving. But so very important. So take your time, be careful, and practice a lot. There’s no such thing as too much practice. Just make sure to take some breaks; intersections can drive people crazy.


In British Columbia is a driveway considered an intersection?


No, entrances to driveways, back lanes and parking lots are not considered intersections from a legal standpoint. These are simply entrances to private or public property. Vehicles exiting these places must stop before continuing.


Uncontrolled Intersections


Uncontrolled intersections have no signs or lights. Be extra careful because other people may not notice. Look at the back of any sign that the other traffic may be facing.


If you see no signs, it’s an uncontrolled intersection. Vehicles are not necessarily required to stop (depending on visibility), but should apply extreme caution, slow down and scan for traffic.


Drivers should yield to whichever vehicle arrived first. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, yield to your right; left turns should yield to straight-through traffic; left turns should yield to right turns. When unsure, demonstrate courtesy.



right of way

Right Of Way Rules For Driving

What is ‘right of way’? It’s a little different from ‘right away’ that’s for sure. Whenever someone says ‘right of way’ they are talking about an understanding that drivers have, with regards to which vehicle is going to go first before another vehicle, in a driving situation. Very generally speaking, the rules go like this: …

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Intersections: Pedestrian-Controlled Traffic Lights Just Confuse Everyone

Question about pedestrian-controlled traffic light intersections Pedestrian-controlled intersections are confusing. Scenario:  North and South have normal intersection traffic lights. East and West (this situation side street) have a stop sign. Does East West traffic not have an obligation to still stop at a stop sign before proceeding or does East West traffic now have the …

Intersections: Pedestrian-Controlled Traffic Lights Just Confuse Everyone Read More »

When The Traffic Signals Are Out

Question: I was curious about the dark-traffic-light rule. Common advice seems to be to treat the intersection as a 4-way stop, but what should you do when NOBODY is stopping at all. I watched at Quebec and National as nobody slowed or stopped. OK, it’s a three-way intersection (four-way if you add in the Science …

When The Traffic Signals Are Out Read More »

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