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California Motor Vehicle Code 21800

How to Drive Through Intersections

An intersection can be a dangerous place. Different streams of transportation meet and must somehow cross paths with out collision. Luckily, vehicle code 21800 details the specific requirements for keeping intersections in safe, working order.

Basic idea in any intersections is to yield to the right-of-way. This is common sense to some extent, that some drivers must wait while others proceed. Drivers who have the "right-of-way" are those who are already passing through the intersection.

If two vehicles approach an intersection at the same time from different highways, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on his immediate right. Further, if a driver is on a terminating highway and has to merge, he must yield to any vehicle on the continuing highway.

Many intersections are made simple with the posting of stop signs or traffic control signals. If stop signs are present, all drivers must make a complete stop before continuing through the intersection and are required to yield to the driver on their immediate right. Traffic signals require drivers to follow the indicating lights and only proceed with caution when shown a green "GO" signal.

If an intersection only has stop signs posted for two parallel directional roads, drivers traveling here must stop until the cross highway is clear before proceeding through the intersection.

Drivers should always check for vehicles coming from crossing highways when passing through intersections, even when traffic control signals and stop signs are present. Doing so will keep drivers alert to any other vehicles who may be unaware of their need to yield, and can help prevent collisions.

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