Most drivers have moments where they question if they “have the right of way,” especially as if they are teenagers or young adults. However, a moment of hesitation could lead to a severe accident or result in serious repercussions.

Luckily, there are some general guidelines young drivers can use to know if they do have the right of way or if they need to yield to other drives on the road.

Four-way stop

If you come to a controlled intersection, it’s important to stop for any drivers that arrived at the intersection before you. Use the signs or lights at the guiding factor of who got there first. If you arrive at the intersection at the same time as another driver, you yield to your right side, which means you allow the car to your right to proceed first.

If the intersection is uncontrolled you will need to yield to any vehicles that are at the intersection beforehand. Again, if you get there at the same time as another driver, you yield to the right side. When in doubt, yield to your right.

Highway ramps

Highway ramps are tricky, whether you are merging on or exiting off the highway. Drivers who entering a ramp have to yield to the cars who are exiting the ramp. Some highways include a separate lane for drivers to merge onto after merging onto the highway, but drivers who are entering the ramp still have to yield to those who are entering the highway.


Most drivers know they have to yield to pedestrians, but the official guidelines around pedestrians are:

  • yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk
  • yield to a person using a white cane
  • yield to pedestrians when turning left

It’s always safe to assume to yield to pedestrians whenever they are crossing the street or crossing in front of you.

Even with guidelines, it can be tricky to know when you have “the right of way.” Make sure to use your best judgment and seek injuries if you end up in an accident due to an interaction incident. At Martson Law Offices, we have represented those who are injured as well as defendants who may be responsible, giving us a comprehensive perspective to fight for your best interests here in Pennsylvania.