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An uncontrolled intersection is a road intersection where no traffic lights, road markings or signs are used to indicate the right-of-way. They are found in either residential neighborhoods or in rural areas. While the intersection itself is unmarked, warning signs or lights may be present to alert drivers to it.

Uncontrolled T-intersectionEdit

At an uncontrolled T-intersection (3-way intersection), right-of-way rules differ from country to country. In Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand[1] and most of the United States, traffic on the terminating road must give way (yield) to traffic on the continuing road.[citation needed] In Germany,[2] traffic generally has to give way to traffic on the right at an uncontrolled intersection, whether it is a 3-way intersection or not.

Uncontrolled 4-way intersectionEdit

An uncontrolled intersection in suburban Melbourne, Australia

At uncontrolled 4-way intersections the common rules are

  • give way to traffic approaching from the driver's side (i.e. from the left in countries that drive on the right-hand side, and vice versa)[citation needed]
    • however, this may be the opposite depending on the local laws
  • turning traffic usually gives way to traffic driving straight through in the opposite direction
  • drivers opposite one another and both turning in their same direction, e.g. both drivers turning to their left, do not need to give way to one another as their paths will not cross.

Common practice dictates that drivers will treat the intersection as if they have a give way (yield) sign and look both directions for cross-traffic to avoid any accidents with motorists who did not recognize or did not follow the uncontrolled intersection rule.


  1. ^ "New Zealand give way rules". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  2. ^ [1] - in German - Federal Ministry of Justice (Germany) - de:Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (Deutschland): Vorfahrt - (German) Road Traffic Order: Right-of-way - Section 8 - Retrieved on September 20, 2012