Who Has the Right of Way at an Intersection in PA?

Who has the right of way when two drivers approach an intersection at the same time?

It is an event that happens to drivers in Pennsylvania every day - two cars simultaneously approach an intersection from different directions. Usually, this situation occurs at an intersection governed by a four-way stop sign.

Many drivers wonder, if we arrive at the intersection at (or close to) the exact same time, who gets to go first? Of course, the easy answer is always which ever driver can proceed through the intersection safely. But there is also a law in Pennsylvania that addresses this situation.

Under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code the general rule is as follows:

When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. 75 Pa.C.S. 3321(a)

Although there are exceptions to this general rule, which include situations involving emergency vehicles, construction vehicles, and school buses (see 75 Pa.C.S. 3321(b)), Pennsylvania law essentially states that the driver to the right has the right of way when both approach the intersection at the same time. In other words, you must yield (give up) the right of way to that driver by letting him go first.

So next time you encounter a situation such as this, remember, “The driver on the right, has the right of way!”