Blind intersections or uncontrolled intersections are notorious for hosting many accidents in the United States in recent years. It is partly due to the disregard for the right of way by road users.
The right of way has been designed for you to give up the road for other road users in certain instances. S0, what should you do when you come across a blind intersection? do you stop at a blind intersection?
You need to stop at a blind intersection to give the right of way to vehicles crossing from your right or when a vehicle has stepped onto the intersection before you.
Nevertheless, what you should do when you get to a blind intersection is slow down and approach it slowly until you can see what is ahead of you.
What is a Blind Intersection?
The accurate and most-used definition of a blind intersection is stated in the DMV’s California Drivers Handbook. It states that “an intersection is considered ‘blind’ if there are no stop signs at any corner and you cannot see for 100 feet in either direction during the last 100 feet before crossing. If your view is blocked, move slowly forward until you can see.”
A blind intersection also applies to places where you cannot see where the traffic is coming from due to obstacles such as other vehicles, trees, tall buildings, etc, obstructing your view. In such places, there is the absence of stop signs and other traffic signals.
Road accidents are common and are on the increase annually in many places however statistics show that blind intersections host more accidents on roads.
Many dangerous blind intersections exist all over the country. A lot of them were poorly designed, having blind spots where the driver’s field of vision is obstructed and it is difficult to see what is coming ahead.
The speed limit for a blind intersection is 15 mph.
Do You Stop at a Blind Intersection?
Quite frankly, stopping is not necessary. But you will need to approach a blind intersection with less speed and more brake.
Since you cannot see what is coming and what is ahead of you, there is no point in speeding. Just go slow until you can see what is in front of you.
If you need to give way because the vehicle is approaching from your right and has stepped onto the intersection before you, you will need to stop.
What Should You Do in a Blind Intersection?
It is common sense to approach a blind intersection carefully and slowly. When you get to places like this, you should drive forward slowly until you have a clear view to cross the intersection.
When you have a clear view, you can continue driving normally. Driving slowly in a blind intersection helps you quickly press your brakes if you see another car coming into the intersection. Know your speed limit in a blind intersection to avoid colliding with another car.
Who Has a Right of Way at a Blind Intersection?
What is the concept of the right of way? You see, the concept of the right of way is imperative for all drivers to know and understand because the law does not give everyone the right of way always.
The law only specifies when the right of way should be yielded. The right of way is given to any road user when the law permits other road users to give you the right of way.
Disregarding the right of way will lead to accidents. Instances where the right of way must be yielded to other drivers include:
- At blind intersections where a vehicle is already in the intersection;
- Persons using a dog as a seeing guide;
- When turning left and you need to yield to oncoming pedestrians;
- At a yield sign;
- When going back to the roadway after the car is parked;
- Pedestrians in a crosswalk;
- Persons using a white can with or without a red tip;
- When driving along an untarred road that intersections with a tarred road;
- At ‘T’ junctions where you have to give way to vehicles on the through road.
Who actually gets the right of way? The law does not ‘give’ the right of way to anyone, it only states who must ‘give up the right of way.
All pedestrians, motorcyclists, riders, drivers, and bicyclists must do everything they can to avoid an accident. Giving up the right of way means that you are allowing them to go before you in a traffic situation. This is the rule that governs traffic at a blind intersection.
Imagine you are driving and you come across a stop sign at the exact same time as another driver in the cross street and he happens to be on your right.
You have to give up the right of way to the driver by allowing him to go before you. If you get to an uncontrolled intersection at almost the same time, the person who got there last by a split second must give up the right of way.
If you both got to the uncontrolled intersection at the same time, the person on the left has to give up the right of way.
This does not just apply to blind intersections though. Pedestrians have to be given the right of way at intersections and crosswalks.
Bicycles are like vehicles in this rule so they do not get the right of the way automatically in every situation. When bicyclists get to an intersection, they must give way to traffic coming from the right.
Of course, emergency vehicles, school buses, construction vehicles, and government vehicles have to be given the right of way in the instances listed above.
Drivers are advised to be informed of the roads they use on a frequent basis. The rules governing traffic should also be studied and understood by all drivers. Ignorance is never an excuse to flout the law.
When driving, do not be influenced or controlled by riders or friends to make decisions about routes. You should know which route is best for you and why you should take it.
Drivers should also take into account the roads where a right of way is given and yielded.
As a driver, there is no point in insisting on the right of way. When driving, watch other drivers closely. Try to anticipate their moves as well, if you see that a driver is not yielding the right of way to you even if he is supposed to do that, you do not need to force your way by driving onto the intersection and blocking him.
You risk causing accidents on the road. Giving up the right of way assists in avoiding crashes and maintaining sanity on the roads.
Should You Slow Down at Every Intersection?
Yes, slowing down at every intersection is a must. It would be best if you watched out for road signs at the intersection and other incoming drivers. If there are already vehicles at the intersection, you should slow down and wait for them to move away.
At ‘T’ intersections, you need to slow down and give the right of way to vehicles on the through road. Also, when you get to an intersection, give way to cars coming from your right. It is a rule for cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
Slowing down at intersections helps you maintain your safety while driving. If you get to a blind intersection and you cannot see oncoming vehicles because of obstructions, slowing down will help you brake completely if there is a speeding oncoming car at the intersection.
It is common sense for you to slow down when driving and your line of view is obstructed. Going on full speed into a blind intersection will most likely result in a collision. Follow the road signs and give way to other cars at the blind intersection.