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An intersection is a common hazard area, and you must practice your excellent driving skills. You should be sober and keep when moving at crossroads.

Whether driving in the city or your small hometown, remember there are many activities at intersections, such as traffic signals, lane changing, and merging, not to mention all types of drivers on the road.

Let’s check the common types of road intersections and how to maneuver through them safely.

8 Types of Road Intersections

1. Four-Way Intersection

types of intersections driving


The intersection is the most common, with two roads crossing and approaching each other at different angles. In metropolitan areas, the streets mostly use a grid-like design.

The four ways are controlled using traffic signals or stop signs. You can only move when there’s a green light. When the road uses traffic signals, you should only turn left when there’s no forthcoming traffic. If the intersection uses a stop sign, vehicles move out in the order they entered the intersection.

At this point, use your blink lights properly, stop and yield when required.

2. Y Intersection

In the intersection, the roads meet at equal sizes, and you will see that they are merging on one highway giving the Y shape. There are two types of these intersections; the first has a stop sign at a short distance from the intersection, and all approaching vehicles must make a complete stop.

The other type needs vehicles on one side to make a complete stop as they check in both directions for oncoming traffic before they move to the other road. Observe the traffic signs and lights, and maneuvering will be effortless.

In some areas, you will find a diamond-shaped yellow signpost with Y to tell there’s a Y intersection ahead.

3. T intersection

The junction is common in most parts of New York where a minor road meets a major one, and they are controlled using stop signs. The vehicles on the significant road continue moving even when the minor road stops.

For a successful maneuver at this intersection, remember to respect that the vehicles on the major roads always have the right of way. You must make a complete stop and look in both directions before turning left or right on the major roadway.

4. Turning Lanes

Turning lanes arise when there’s heavy traffic at intersections, and they work for drivers intending to turn left, and a traffic light ensures efficiency. If you come across such a road during your road test, check the painted arrow on the pavement, and the lights will show another one when controlling the lane.

When your car is on the turning lane of the intersection, you must follow through and make a complete turn to avoid messing up the traffic. Your mirrors are also vital to ensure safety from collisions with oncoming vehicles.

5. Roundabouts

types of road intersections


They control crossing intersections of more than three roadways. The roundabout prevents head-on and angle crashes as it slows down vehicles as they change their travel path.

It acts as a circular intersection to control vehicles when yielding before they proceed to their roadway. The roundabout adopts a specific geometric design that enhances driver awareness, promotes traffic flow, and reduces traffic speeds.

It uses the counterclockwise fashion for driving around the circle, and you can turn right when exiting the roundabout to the road you want to use.

When approaching a roundabout, always give the right of way to the vehicles already there, and don’t enter unless it’s safe.

6. Controlled or Uncontrolled

These are the common terms you will find with the intersection, where control ones have stop signs or traffic signals to show the driver what action to take when at the intersection. On the other hand, uncontrolled ones are often found in remote areas, which means more caution when approaching them.

With uncontrolled intersections, you should move slowly and steadily, and your common sense must ensure you decide on the right of way. You will likely mess up in such areas when driving under the influence since alcohol and other drugs reduce your judgment.

A driver moving straight from the roundabout must yield. If there are two cars and one is moving to the left, he must wait until the one moving straight yield.

7. A “Fork.”

It’s the road to an intersection where two roadways meet, and the main one divides into two mini lanes, with one going to the connecting road and the other continuing along the original path. The median area separates the two sections.

8. Pedestrian Crosswalk

types of highway intersection


You will notice most pedestrian crosswalks are at intersections in metropolitan areas. To prevent pedestrian-related accidents, you must check if people intend to cross the street. Also, check your mirrors for others who may make haste decisions when crossing the road.

At intersections slowing down is an essential rule since the roadways have more vehicles, and a simple mistake could hold you in traffic for more hours.

What Are the Criteria for Designing an Intersection?

An ultimate intersection design ensures all mobility and operation, observing all the safety measures for pedestrians and vehicles. The street designs are compact to increase drivers’ vision and the pedestrian’s eye contact for safety.

Most areas have striped crosswalks to reinforce vehicle yielding when a green light shows. The corner radii and curb extensions ensure the shortest crossing distance. Even if you won’t see the traffic signal cycle, it dramatically impacts the functioning of the intersection to ensure a smooth traffic flow.

Final Thoughts

There you have it: the eight common types of road intersections.

Driving at intersections can be daunting, especially when driving for the first time or taking your road test. The best way to keep safe is to observe the right of way, signal, and lights that control the intersection. Remember to check your mirrors for more safety.

When taking your driving classes, pay attention to your instructors’ directions; it will be easier for you. Friendly instructors at Pierre Paul driving school will take you through the theory and practice of driving at intersections. Build your future behind the wheel by booking lessons at our school.