If you’ve been driving for any length of time, you may operate your vehicle on your own mental cruise control. Our actions can become almost automatic. Red light, stop. Green light, go. School Zone, slow. But every once in a while, we are faced with an unusual situation that can cause us to really think about our next move. Here are a few of those awkward driving situations and how to handle them.
Four Way Stops
If two cars arrive at a four-way stop simultaneously, the car to the right has the right of way. If three cars arrive at the same time, the vehicle to the far left should yield to the other two. When two cars arrive head to head, cars traveling straight have the right of way. It is a little tricky sometimes if one doesn’t play by the rules, isn’t paying attention or thinks the rules don’t apply to them.
Traffic Signal Out at an Intersection
One of the most dangerous situations you can face is when a traffic light is not working at an intersection. This is largely due to drivers not understanding how to handle the situation. If a traffic signal is completely out, the intersection should be treated as a four-way stop sign.
Roundabouts have long been a staple along the East Coast. They are now being used more frequently throughout the country. A roundabout is a circular intersection that can better allow traffic to continue to move through the intersection. One should approach the roundabout at a slow, steady speed, yielding to traffic already in the roundabout. Pick a lane and merge into traffic, carefully exiting when appropriate.
When an emergency vehicle is approaching from the rear, move to the right when possible, or to one edge of the roadway or the other to clear a path. Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed. When stopped, it is a good idea to keep your foot on the brake to let the emergency vehicle know you are stopped or stopping.
If You Witness an Accident
While the law doesn’t require you to stop after witnessing an accident, your assistance could prove to be valuable. Make sure you are in a safe place and call the police. Carefully and safely approach the scene and check on victims. You should be available to the police for any pertinent statements and to describe what you saw.
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