What Is an Uncontrolled Intersection?

Intersections are all over the roads–highways, backroads, and different types of roads. What is an uncontrolled intersection?

A road intersection is a junction or crossing point at two or more roadways, regardless of the angle of the roadways. Intersections where there are traffic signs, lights, or managed by authorized personnel are “controlled intersections.”

The intersections controlled by means of automatic traffic lights are Signposted. On the other hand, intersections that are not controlled by traffic signs, markings, authorized personnel or automatic traffic lights are said to be Uncontrolled Intersections that is, the priorities and flow of the traffic are left to the discretion of drivers.

Highway Code: Intersections

Vertical and horizontal signaling elements as well as lights are all indications that allow users to approach an intersection confidently. Have you ever been in an intersection where one or more drivers don’t know the rules? Frustrating, right?!

Don’t be the driver making other drivers’ lives difficult.

Motorists entering an intersection must, first of all, make sure they are in the right direction. Follow traffic signs. If you’re not familiar with any of those, we suggest downloading your state’s driving manual.

Different Types of Intersections

Four-way intersections are the most common, but there are also other types of intersections such as X, Y, T or star. The driving environment is filled with clues to recognize an intersection before approaching it: ground markings, lights, signs, building angles, red markers, etc.

Without road signage, the priority on the right applies. A car that wants to cut or cross the road to turn is not a priority.

Complex or Uncontrolled Intersections

Some intersections can be very complex. A “YIELD” sign is sometimes accompanied by a sign indicating to the motorist a priority direction. But the priority can also change depending on whether the driver enters or leaves an agglomeration. In addition, a user is never a priority to enter a fast track.


The roundabout has no signage and applies priority to the right. On a roundabout, road users must respect the “give-the-way”, and must position themselves correctly on the intersection according to their route, making sure to use their flashing light.

While it is common to confuse these two elements of traffic regulation, the candidates must imperatively make the difference between a roundabout and a roundabout during the examination of the Highway Code.

When Traffic Lights, Traffic Control Agents and Signs Meet

It represents the signaling dispensed by the agents. The lights indicate the traffic priorities and force the vehicles that are not subject to it to stop at the lines present as markings on the ground. It is important to pay attention to the bike lock, as well as to the signs on the fire, which indicate the priority rules in case of semaphore failure.

Finally, Who Has Priority?

Users may encounter two types of signs indicating priority or lack of priority. Drivers must comply with the “STOP” and “give-and-pass” instructions and, if the second sign does not oblige the vehicle to stop systematically, it nevertheless calls for the caution of the user. Finally, in the absence of signs, the priority is to the vehicle coming from the right.

Bottomline, observe the roads well, establish eye contact with other drivers at the intersection and then proceed when it is safe to do so.

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