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Highway Intersection Etiquette

There are many “rules” to the road, and intersections are one of those places that are misused by drivers, simply because they don’t know, or don’t remember, those rules.  There are several different types of intersections and interchanges, and while the interchanges are usually clear in direction, many of the “crossover” intersections, or the new types of intersections (roundabouts, diverging diamonds, and j-turns) are still new to drivers.  The information below can help drivers, new and experienced, understand the rules (and laws) about intersections and interchanges.

Types of Interchanges & Intersections:

J-Turns | Diverging Diamond Interchanges | Roundabouts | Single-Point Interchanges

Motorists driving straight on the highway prevail over a yield sign, and a yield sign prevails over a stop sign.  So who has the right of way when pulling out at an intersection?  First straight, next yield, then stop.  Always look both ways before crossing, even in a vehicle.  Don’t treat an intersection like a two-way stop, even though the driver in the intersection may be motioning you to come forward.  If you use this rule of thumb, you’ll know the answer the next time you’re sitting at one of many intersections along our four-lane highways throughout Missouri. We have posted a diagram below to help drivers learn the rules of an intersection.  Please feel free to send this link to friends and family!

INTERSECTIONBe a safe driver and pay attention.  Remove distractions…put down the cell phone, stop eating, and give your full attention to the task at hand – driving!  Take your time and make safe decisions.  Set a good example for our younger drivers. Our law enforcement partners ask each of us to drive as if you’re being tested for your license:  obey all laws and traffic signs, pay attention, wear your seat belt, use your blinkers, and please use common sense.



Use Acceleration or Deceleration Lanes

The acceleration and deceleration lanes you may find along some four-lane highways like U.S. 61 in northeast Missouri, are especially beneficial for large commercial vehicles that are slower to speed up and slow down.  Necessity for safety and expense are the driving factors to determine whether an intersection needs an acceleration and/or deceleration lane.  There are areas along U.S. 61 that have higher traffic volumes, but in some sections, especially north of Troy where traffic volume is lower, the shoulder has been widened for people entering and exiting the highway.

accel decel lanesMoDOT and local law enforcement are partners in the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.  Locally known as the Northeast Regional Coalition for Roadway Safety, professionals are available to educate drivers – young, old and in between – about safe driving habits.  Sometimes we all just need reminders.  Call us if you would be interested in having a safe driving program presented to your organization, business or class.  The number is 1-888-275-6636 or email marisa.christy@modot.mo.gov.  You can check out all the safe driving programs and campaigns at  www.savemolives.com.















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