Jan 21

Stop, go: Safely navigating intersections

intersectionAre you teaching your teen to drive but not quite sure where to begin? DriveitHOME can help! We’ve developed practice tips and lessons for each week of the year so your teen’s learning process can be as smooth as possible. The lessons are a simple click away and, just like that, you’re on track to teaching your teen to drive – the right way.

Today’s lessons are Nos.10 and 25 from DriveitHOME – teaching your teen how to handle intersections.

Intersections (Part 1)

They come in a wide variety – each with their own challenges and learning curves. See if your teen can drive you through each one of types of intersections:

  • 2-Way Intersection - Two one-way streets intersecting is pretty simple, but be sure your teen still checks both ways when he gets into the intersection. Pedestrians, emergency vehicles or impaired drivers may be driving 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 drivers who are not crossing lanes of traffic.
  • 4-Way Intersection - Four lanes of traffic meeting each other can be a real hassle. The first driver to stop gets to go first. If you tie with someone, it is safest to yield to the driver on your right. Be careful though, as not everyone follows these guidelines.
  • Roundabouts - More common in Europe, roundabouts are starting to pop up more often here in the U.S. They occur when multiple streets meet and, instead of crossing one another, the streets form a circular lane of traffic.Roundabouts can be difficult to maneuver for a new driver because these intersections demand a lot of control and special attention to surroundings. Slow down, watch for new cars entering the flow of traffic and know where you are going before you enter 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.

Intersections (Part 2)

Failure to yield to vehicles that have the right-of-way causes almost every intersection collision. Teach your teen to avoid a crash, and a ticket, by sticking to your state’s laws of the road and always yielding the right of way.


  • As you approach an intersection where the light has been green for a while, your teen should get ready for the light to change. Have your teen take his foot off the accelerator, cover the brake with the right foot and be prepared to stop.
  • When you’re stopped at a red light and it turns green, your teen needs to check to see that the traffic has stopped before proceeding. Look left, then right, then scan left before proceeding.


  • Teach your teen that a yellow light does not mean you can jam the accelerator to the floor and fly through it.  A yellow light allows you time to clear the intersection when you’re driving through it, not when you’re approaching it.


  • Turning right on a red light is allowed only when conditions are suitable and when:
    • Your state permits it
    • No sign prohibits a right on red
    • Your vehicle has come to a complete stop in the extreme right lane
    • Traffic is clear
    • Pedestrians are clear of the crosswalk


For more tips and practice lessons like these, visit DriveitHOME.org.





1 ping

  1. Russ Chaplin

    I didn’t know you had got any roundabouts in the US. When I drove there many years ago I never saw one. They are a great way to keep traffic flowing as opposed to a junction which can really hinder traffic flow. The trick is to get your information early by looking across for a gap as you approach. This will help you time your arrival so you can fit safely into a space without the need to stop.

  2. maureen

    Roundabouts are popping up more frequently here. Teens certainly need some help navigating them!

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