New Student? Please Click Here to start our DMV and Court approved Nevada online traffic safety school course to dismiss your traffic ticket and receive a three (3) point credit on your official DMV Driver Record.
An intersection is any place on a roadway where two or more streets come together. There are two different types of intersections: "controlled" and "uncontrolled."
Controlled Intersection - A controlled intersection is one that is governed by either traffic signals or stop signs. At a controlled intersection, you must observe and follow what the signal or sign says. There are two types of controlled intersections. When you come to an intersection controlled by a traffic signal, you will have three different options. The green light tells drivers they have the right-of-way and may proceed through the intersection with presumed safety. With a red light, you must come to a complete stop behind the crosswalk line. You must wait behind the line until the light turns green and the intersection is clear.
The yellow light means caution. It is warning you that the light will soon turn red. The time that a light stays yellow varies at all intersections, so you should never try to beat the light. When coming up to an intersection and the light turns yellow, if your tires are across the crosswalk line, you should proceed. If you have not yet come to the crosswalk, you should stop. In all intersections, you want to be sure it is safe and clear before you try to cross it. If you get stuck in the middle of an intersection when a light turns red, you can get a gridlock ticket for impeding or blocking the flow of traffic.
The second type of controlled intersection is one that is regulated by stop signs, which can either be four-way or two-way stops. At an intersection controlled by an all-way stop sign, the driver that comes to the intersection first has the right-of-way. If two drivers arrive at the same time, the driver to the right will have the right-of-way.
Uncontrolled Intersection - An uncontrolled intersection is not controlled by a signal or sign. These types of intersections should be crossed very carefully. Always slow down when coming close to an uncontrolled intersection so you can yield to any traffic already in that intersection. At an uncontrolled intersection, if two vehicles arrive at the same time, it should be treated the same as a controlled intersection. The vehicle to the right will have the right-of-way. At an uncontrolled "T" intersection, the vehicles driving on the through road have the right-of-way. The vehicle on the street that is ending must yield to other vehicles.
Whenever you approach an intersection, whether it is controlled or uncontrolled, you must scan the road for hazards. Always check for other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, or any other obstructions that may impede your flow through the intersection. Use extra caution and slow down whenever going through intersections near a church, school, park, or hospital.
At an intersection, you can make any one of several maneuvers. Most drivers simply go through intersections, but many others make turns in these areas.
When making a turn, you must be able to judge three very important things:
The total time it will take to complete the maneuver.
The speed of any oncoming vehicles.
The distance of any oncoming vehicles.
After judging these three things, you should be able to choose a traffic gap before crossing traffic safely.
IMPORTANT STEPS IN MAKING A GOOD TURN:
1. Never make a last-minute decision to turn. It is dangerous not to give enough notice to other drivers.
2. Always scan the road ahead for hazards, as well as pedestrians, bicycles, and animals.
3. Look behind you and to both sides to see where other vehicles are before you make a turn.
4. Move into the proper lane as quickly as possible. Make sure you are completely in the proper lane at least 100 feet or 1/2 block before you turn. The faster traffic is moving, the sooner you should move into this lane. If you cannot get into the proper lane within this distance, you should not attempt to make your turn. Simply continue straight ahead.
5. Signal your intention to turn at least 100 feet on a city road (or 300 feet on a highway) before making the turn. If using a hand signal, hold it until you are close enough to the intersection for others to know your intention. Put both hands on the steering wheel once you cross the limit line so you can make the turn.
6. Slow down when approaching the turn and release the brake and clutch during the turn.
7. Remain in the proper lane and maintain the same speed at the beginning and throughout the turn.
8. Finish the turn in the proper lane first before you consider changing into another lane
You may make a right turn, left turn, or U-turn at intersections unless signs are posted prohibiting a specific type of turn. These turns are described below.
A. Right Turns - Collisions commonly occur during right turns where a driver turns too wide and collides into an opposing vehicle making a left hand turn into his or her lane. When you find yourself in this right turn situation, you should complete you turn in the lane that is first accessible or the one furthest to the right. You may always turn right on a red light from a dead stop unless there is a sign prohibiting it, but you must complete the maneuver in the right or slow lane, keeping close to the curb at all times.
If traffic is stopped at an intersection, and you are several cars back, you may travel along the right curb in order to make a right turn, but only if it is safe to do so. If the curb is a parking zone, has a bicycle lane, or is not present, you may not travel along the right. If you are in a lane that allows you to proceed with a right turn or straight on the road, and the lane to the right is marked "right turn only," you have the option to turn right on a red light. If you are in the "right turn only" lane, however, you must proceed with the right turn after the lines dividing the lane on the left side change from broken to solid. Once the solid bold line appears, changing lanes out of the "right turn only" lane would be illegal, even if no other vehicles are present.
1. How to make a right turn:
a Signal for a lane change well ahead of the turning point (approximately 200-300 ft.) and check the road prior to turning. When it is safe and you are at least 100 feet away from the intersection, move your vehicle to the far right lane, flashing your brake lights to warn other drivers of your plan to change lanes, and turn.
b. Check all signals and road signs, and start slowing down at least 100 ft. from the corner of the intersection.
c. Look both ways before starting to turn.
d. Keep as close as possible to the right edge of the road (within three to five ft. from the curb). Turn with both hands on the wheel using the hand-over-hand method while checking the traffic flow.
e. If you are at a stop sign or red signal, stop prior to the crosswalk before continuing with your turn.
B. Left Turns - Left turns tend to be dangerous and require extra caution due to conflict with oncoming vehicles traveling at high speeds, changing signals, pedestrians utilizing the crosswalk, and limited visibility due to large vehicles, trucks or other obstructions. These turns must be made from the left hand lane on your side of the road. You may make a left turn from one intersecting street to another intersecting street on a green light, completing the turn in the lane to the right of the centerline, or the same lane you began at when you began the turn. If a left turn is being made at the same time another vehicle is making a right turn onto the same street, the vehicle making the right turn has the right-of-way. You may make a left turn on a red light from a one-way street to another one-way street unless otherwise posted. A vehicle making a left turn against oncoming traffic never has the right-of-way, unless given the right-of-way by a green arrow, signifying unobstructed use of the road. No matter the situation, you should still proceed with caution.
1. How to make a left turn:
a. Signal for a lane change well ahead of the turning point, and when it is safe and you are at least 100 ft. away from the intersection, move to the lane next to the center dividing lane line(s).
b. Start slowing down at least 100 ft. from the corner of the intersection.
c. Look right and left before starting to turn, and beware of all signals and signs. Stay to the right of the center lane line(s) as you enter the intersection. Yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction
d. Complete the turn to the right of the centerline of the road into which you are turning by entering the lane which will interfere the least with other traffic.
2. Two-Way Left Turn Lane (Center Turn Lane) - This lane, located in the center of busy streets, is painted with solid yellow outside lines and dashed yellow lines on the inside of the lane. You may enter this lane to begin or complete a left turn only. You may proceed in this lane for a limited amount of time. If you enter the lane after making a left turn from a side street, you may travel up to 50 feet before you must merge with traffic. If you are preparing to make a left turn from the lane, you may travel up to 200 feet. When the two-way left turn lane ends into a regular left turn lane, you may transition from the two-way lane into the regular lane and continue driving for an indefinite length of time.
3. MULTIPLE LEFT-TURN LANES:
Many streets have more than one lane that you are able to turn left from. If you are turning from the left, left-turn lane, you must turn into the left lane that is right of the yellow dividing line. If you are turning from the right, left-turn lane, you must enter the street in the right lane. Most multiple left-turn lanes have directional arrows to guide your turn and keep you in the proper lane.
C. Examples of right and left turns (The numbers on the cars refer to the numbered sentences below).
1. Left turn from a two-way street.
Start the turn at the left hand edge of the lane closest to the middle of the street. You must complete the turn in the lane to the right of the centerline of the cross street (as shown by arrows). You must use a left turn lane if there is one. A left turn from the next lane may be made if signs or arrows show it is okay.
2. Right turn.
The blue station wagon is turning correctly. It began the turn in the lane nearest the right-hand curb. It will end the turn in the lane nearest the right-hand curb. Do not swing wide into another lane of traffic. You may start a right turn from other than the far right lane only where pavement or overhead markings show that using that lane for a right turn is permitted.
3. Left turn from a two-way street into a one-way street.
Start the turn from the far left-hand portion of your side of the road. You must turn into the lane that is closest to the left-hand curb, as shown by arrows.
4. Left turn from a one-way street into a two-way street.
Start the turn from the far left-hand portion of your side of the road. The white pickup truck may turn into the lane to the right of the centerline, as shown.
5. Left turn from a one-way street into a one-way street.
The turn must be started from the left hand portion of the road and completed in the left hand portion of the cross street. Watch for bicycles between your vehicle and the curb because they can legally use the left turn lane for their left turns.
6. Right turn from a one-way street into a one-way street.
After starting your turn in the far right lane, you must move into the far right lane. Sometimes signs or pavement markings will let you turn right from a lane next to the far right lane.
7. Turn at a "T" intersection from a one-way into a two -way street.
Through traffic has the right-of-way. You may turn either right or left from the center lane. Watch for vehicles and bicycles inside your turn.
Unless a "No U-turn" sign is posted, a U-turn is legal at all times in an intersection. A U-turn is legal in the middle of the block only in a residential district, and not in a business district. Apartments, churches and schools would designate an area a business district, as would an area where more than 50% of the buildings are businesses.
A U-turn is a dangerous maneuver that must be attempted only when proper consideration is given to vehicle positioning, turning radius, oncoming vehicles, and the width of the roadway. Oftentimes, another turning action such as a series of right turns is preferable and more prudent than a U-turn.
E. RIGHT-OF-WAYS AT INTERSECTIONS The following rules of right-of-ways apply at intersections:
You must yield when necessary to avoid hitting a pedestrian who is legally crossing the street.
You must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when crossing a sidewalk to enter or exit a driveway, alley, or parking lot.
When making a left, you must yield to traffic going straight ahead.
At any intersection where there is no traffic signal or stop sign, you must yield to other drivers coming from the right.
At a four-way stop sign, the vehicle that reaches the intersection first has the right-of-way, but still must make a complete stop.
When entering a street from an alley, driveway, or parking lot, you must yield to traffic already on the main street.
A. You must yield the right-of-way to all emergency vehicles, including police cars, ambulances, fire engines and any other vehicles using a siren and red or blue light. When an emergency vehicle approaches, do not stop in the middle of the intersection. You should pull over to the right side of the road instead as soon as possible.
B. Emergency vehicles travel quite rapidly, often moving into opposing lanes of traffic, and they alert other vehicles with horns or speakers that they are approaching. Never follow within 300 feet of an emergency vehicle traveling in an emergency situation.
C. Upon approaching a parked emergency vehicle displaying its flashing lights, you must do each of the following, unless directed otherwise by a peace officer:
Slow down to a speed that is reasonable and proper and under the posted speed limit, if any.
Proceed with caution.
Be prepared to stop.
Move over to a lane that is not next to where the emergency vehicle has stopped unless the roadway, traffic, weather or other conditions make this unsafe or impossible.
This is an important law because it protects emergency personnel who in turn are trying to help you or someone else. They often must step temporarily into traffic to perform their duties. Many drivers pass too closely, and this can cause injury or death.
You will be charged with a misdemeanor (minimum fine of $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail) if you violate this law. You will also receive demerit points on your license if you are cited. The court may order the suspension of your driving privilege if you get involved in a crash as a result of the violation, and you may be sentenced to prison if you cause an injury or death.
Emergency vehicles exist for the safety of everyone. They need to be respected.Special Note... Stereo headphones should not be worn while driving, because that can contribute to collisions. You will be unable to hear emergency vehicles around you and other vehicles. Driving with headphones on is illegal and quite dangerous.
When a school bus prepares to stop to load or unload children, an amber light will flash 500 feet before it comes to its designated stop. When the bus comes to a complete stop, it activates alternately flashing red lights and the stop signal arm. All oncoming and following traffic must come to a complete stop before they reach the bus when they see these signals. You must remain stopped until the signals are off or until the bus driver tells you to proceed. Remember to watch for children on the sides of the road after they unload. On highways with separate roadways, you do not need to stop:
When meeting or overtaking a school bus on a different roadway.
For a school bus that is going in the opposite direction on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic.
For a school bus that is stopped at a school loading zone, where students are not permitted to cross the roadway.
Children and Dangerous Intersections - Always practice safe driving habits and use extra caution whenever transporting children near schools, parks or busy intersections. To help make drivers aware of the dangers of children in intersections, the "National Stop on Red Week" was created for the first week in September, coinciding with the beginning of the school year. After the long summer, drivers need to become familiar again with children who go to and from school during commuting hours. Here are some helpful driving tips that should make our streets safer for children:
Always make a complete stop at red lights and stop signs. Be extra careful at intersections around schools.
Obey the signs and follow the school's rules on loading and unloading students in front of school.
Drive with your headlights on (even during the day) to be more visible to children.
When driving in rain, snow, ice, or general bad weather, allow more space and following distance and use extra caution. It becomes more difficult to see children and to stop safely in bad weather.
When transporting children, make sure everyone is buckled up each time they get into the vehicle. Children 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat. Remember to never place a rear-facing child safety seat in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with passenger front air bags or side air bags (the air bags could suffocate the child).
Use extra caution around school buses, because they make many stops with children getting off and on each time. You may not pass a school bus when it is stopped and has either its lights flashing or a stop sign extended from the side of the bus.
While driving, scan between parked vehicles and other objects for children that might dart out into the street.
Look for clues that indicate children are around the area, such as school safety patrols, adult crossing guards, bicycles, school buses, parks and playgrounds.
Obey the direction or traffic-control signals of any school crossing guards in school zone crosswalks, and wait for children and adults accompanying them, including crossing guards, to completely clear the road before continuing.
You should be extra cautious when driving through construction work zones, as these areas are especially dangerous. Slower speeds are necessary for safe passage through these zones, especially since construction often creates narrow lanes and rough roads. Work zones are identified by orange signs, cones and barrels.
Penalties for work zone violations are doubled regardless of whether there are workers present, though the area must be marked as a double penalty zone. For example, drivers who speed, move aside barriers or signs, or ignore flaggers will be subject to fines, community service, or jail terms that are doubled up to specified maximums. However, disobeying a flagger and causing injury to a road worker or more than $1,000 in damages will result in a fine of at least $1,000 and 120 hours of community service. Under the double penalty law, that can be doubled.
Tips for driving in work zones:
Follow the instructions on the roadwork zone warning signs and those given by flaggers!
Watch the traffic around you and be prepared to react to what that traffic is doing. Check the taillights/brake lights of vehicles ahead of you for indications of what they are doing.
Be prepared to slow down or stop.
Merge into the proper lane well before you reach the work zone.
Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.
Avoid roadwork zones altogether by using alternative routes when you can. And, if you know you can't avoid them, you can do a few things to make your travels through the work zones safer.
Allow extra time for your trip.
Travel during non-peak traffic hours.
Share a ride or car pool to reduce congestion in the work zones.
Controlling Speed and Speed Limits
Basic Law - Nevada has a basic speed law which states that you are never to drive at "such a rate of speed as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person." The basic speed law demands that a driver never operate a motor vehicle at a speed that is unsafe for the road or too fast for conditions. You must use discretion and common sense while driving and avoid traveling at unsafe speeds. Driving 45 mph, for example, in a 45 mph zone during a severe rainstorm may be a violation of the basic speed law. A determination of safe driving speeds must be made by all drivers at all times, and not just awareness of the maximum speeds allowed by law. Underlying factors that may contribute to driving conditions must be factored in when assessing a safe speed. This law exists to slow down drivers in adverse conditions, not to allow them to exceed safe speeds. Things you might want to consider in addition to speed limit signs are:
The type and amount of traffic on the road.
The weather conditions and your visibility.
The condition of the road surface: Is it wet, icy, dry, or covered with snow?
The type of road you are on: Is it wide or narrow, is it flat or steep, is it straight or curvy?
Driving Too Slow - Driving too slow is not only unsafe, but it can be illegal. Driving too slow or going ten miles per hour below the flow of traffic can cause other drivers to attempt unsafe passing maneuvers. When there are two or more lanes of traffic going in the same direction, slower moving vehicles must move to the right and allow other drivers to pass. If there is only one lane, slower drivers should look for turn-outs or places where they can pull over and let faster moving traffic pass.
Speed Limits in Nevada - Posted speed limits are set for normal road and weather conditions. When traffic is bad or weather conditions create slick roads or poor visibility, you will need to adjust your speed accordingly. The following is a list of speed limits in Nevada (posted speed limits may differ in a few areas):
School Zones......15 mph
Business and Residential Areas......25 mph
Reduced Speed Areas Going Into Towns......45 mph
Urban Freeways and Rural Highways... 65 mph
Rural Interstate Freeways...... 70 mph
School Zones - The speed limit in school zones varies between 15 mph and 25 mph. School zones are normally marked with signs, signals, ground markings, and even yellow flashing lights. Unless otherwise posted, the 15 mph speed limit is in effect from half an hour before school begins to half an hour after school ends. The yellow flashing light will indicate the 15 mph zone; if the light is not flashing, the posted speed limit or the 25 mph limit is then enforced. Whenever you are near a school, you should slow down and look for children. If there are people in a crosswalk in the school zone, you must wait for everyone, including the crossing guard, to completely clear the road before proceeding.
School police have the authority to issue traffic citations on streets that are adjacent to school property, if authorized by the local school district superintendent. They are there to protect children, school personnel, and school property.
Some Important Facts:
In 31% of all traffic fatalities nationwide, speed is a factor.
The chance of death or serious injury doubles for every 10 mph over 50 mph that a car travels.
Young males are most often associated with speeding. Men between the ages of 15-24 make up 84% of speeding fatalities.
Speeding is not worth the chance of getting a ticket, injury or dying. On average, speeding saves only a few minutes on trips under 25 miles. To travel 15 miles it would take you 16 minutes and 21 seconds at 55 mph, at 70 mph that trip would take 12 minutes and 53 seconds, saving you less than four minutes!