"Right before left" traffic priority

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Do any other European countries also have this rule, or is it specific to Germany?

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Every one of them! Pretty much anyway, I'm not aware of any that don't, I believe it is in theory the case in Britain as well, although it would be left before right. There's a thread about this somewhere.

 

EDIT: Here.

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Errrr... not just in Europe. I was taught right before left at any intersection that has no signs or lights waaaaay back when I was learning to drive in Toronto, Canada. AFAIK it is the law everywhere in Canada and the USA.

 

from a Canadian driving school web site:

 

 

If two vehicles come to an uncontrolled intersection from different roads at the same time, the driver on the left must let the driver on the right go first. This is called yielding the right-of-way.
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Additionally, most un-indicated intersections in the States have the rule to yield to the car arriving at the intersection first. It's only right-before-left when cars arrive at the same time.

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Everything you two above have written also applies here.

 

If you are on a through road in Germany, then it is marked with the yellow diamond and you have right of way when going around those curvy "Y" intersections which is the German equivalent of a "T" in North America. (though you should still signal your intentions!) And in Germany it is also obvious that I'm not going to stop in the middle of the intersection to let a car coming from the right to proceed. So first come first serve is also the rule in Germany, else we'd all be stopping and blocking intersections all the time. If, however, two cars are approaching the intersection at the same time, then the car to the right goes first, in both Germany and North America.

 

Very few differences between North America and Germany, actually. The bigger problem seems to be that many in North America never learned the rules in the first place <_<

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I'm not sure what you mean by a "Y" intersection, but definitely there are "T" intersections that have no priority sign for the through road, and therefore rechts-vor-links applies. I can think of a couple of spots on the roads alongside of the Nymphenburger kanal where this applies, and those situations are tested in driving exams.

 

For unmarked intersections, if the car on the left is 5 meters from the intersection, and the car on the right is 10 meters away, and it's clearly visible to both drivers - the car on the right should get right of way. That is not the case in the States, where it's the first one to the intersection that gets the priority. I've seen this before when cars speed up right before an intersection to "beat the other guy" (or even better, "stop" at the intersection 10 meters before it really intersects).

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Very few differences between North America and Germany, actually. The bigger problem seems to be that many in North America never learned the rules in the first place

As opposed to Europeans who think they've learned the rules ;)

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Priorite a droite. The world's most asinine rule, invented by the same retarded French bureaucrats who in a later incarnation brought you the bendy banana (kidding, but only just). It is an incentive for drivers to drive like, well, the French. There are two huge gaping problems with this system.

 

1. It gives drivers approaching an intersection who think they have seen no traffic approaching from their right an incentive to barrel through rather than approaching cautiously or stopping.

 

2. It makes them look for said approaching traffic through the passenger, and through the passenger-side window, rather than through their own window, which increases the chances of them missing an approaching car in conditions of poor visibility. To make even a semblance of sense, it should have been priorite a gauche, but it would still be utterly stupid.

 

I'm also convinced there is something weird in French/German/Swiss law that encourages people not to maintain a safe distance. In the US you wouldn't drive 5cm from the next person's bumper, because you know that if for any reason you should collide (even if the person in front of you breaks suddenly) you would be the one held liable for the accident by the insurance company. That logic, eminently sensible, does not seem to apply here.

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the yellow 'diamond' sign over-rides rechts vor links as does any dotted 'give way' line on the road from the right.

 

oder?

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For anyone who doesn't know it; beware the 30km zones, often in town centres.

Here you must give way to the right, even when you're on the obviously main busy road. Daft.

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No, that's not true. Most of the time you are correct, but some 30kph areas do still have the yellow diamond signs in use. No yellow diamond, then rechts vor links, same as any other road.

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Here's what I mean by a "Y" intersection vs. a "T" intersection. I drove on this road daily from my old apartment.

 

post-18719-1217532932_thumb.jpg

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Every one of them! Pretty much anyway, I'm not aware of any that don't, I believe it is in theory the case in Britain as well, although it would be left before right. There's a thread about this somewhere.

I don't think so. All main roads have priority in the UK. Someone coming from a side road will have to stop before turning onto the main road. Otherwise in other situations it would be left before right, except on roundabouts.

 

Incidentally, that is why the Germans hate roundabouts. Because up to just a few years ago, they all had to give way to the right on a roundabout, which meant that everyone could get onto it, but the traffic hardly moved around it. Now they have finally twigged that this was not a good idea, it has been changed, but beware some drivers have not got the message yet and will drive onto the roundabout cutting right through, clearly believing that they still have right of way.

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And in Germany it is also obvious that I'm not going to stop in the middle of the intersection to let a car coming from the right to proceed. So first come first serve is also the rule in Germany, else we'd all be stopping and blocking intersections all the time. If, however, two cars are approaching the intersection at the same time, then the car to the right goes first, in both Germany and North America.

 

Very few differences between North America and Germany, actually. The bigger problem seems to be that many in North America never learned the rules in the first place

This is completely erroneous, as I know from my own experience and that of others.

 

Before I learned of this law I had incidents where I had been driving along on the "crossbar" part of a t intersection and a car came recklessly barreling out from the "stem" part of the t and turned right in front of me, nearly causing an accident. Technically I was in the wrong, but the German mentality is that it doesn't matter if people get hurt because "Ich hatte die Vorfahrt!" It's the equivalent in the USA if someone ran a red light and you had the right of way, but rather than applying the brakes you plowed into them simply to prove that you are right.

 

I also know people who have had accidents in this manner. After these experiences we've all gotten convoluted explanations from our German friends about "rechts vor links."

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... a car came recklessly barreling out from the "stem" part of the t and turned right in front of me, nearly causing an accident ...

In case of an accident the driver could be in for a surprise ... Mitverschulden trotz Vorfahrt

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Err...completely erroneous? WTF? You're the one who was driving without bothering to know the rules of the road. :blink:

 

Sounds like you're just guessing about whether or not the road you are on is the designated main road. An accident waiting to happen. You won't just be technically wrong, but found at fault by the German police and insurance companies. You'd also be found guilty in Canada and a number of other countries.

 

Stop making wrong assumptions, be a bit more observant, and learn to always be aware of who must yield right-of-way. You are mistaken if you think that the through road in a T-intersection always has right of way. You're just used to the fact that there are very few completely uncontrolled T-intersections in North America, since there's almost always a yield or stop sign. Road rules can differ from State to State. In many US States, the laws were only changed in the last few years to give the through road precedence in a T-intersection. Oregon, for example, only changed their rules of the road in 2003. AFAIK in Missouri the laws haven't been changed yet. In Canada, the old rules still apply about uncontrolled T-intersections. The Alberta Driver's Handbook lays it out quite explicitly:

 

 

Uncontrolled intersections are ones that have no traffic signs and no traffic signal lights. This may also apply to an intersection commonly referred to as a "T" intersection. Other drivers might not be expecting traffic or pedestrians to cross their path and this could cause a collision.

 

Check for traffic approaching from your left and right when you are approaching an intersection without traffic signs or traffic signal lights. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on your right.

Ignorance is no excuse for being "technically wrong". Heaven help you if you ever have to explain how you only technically killed someone.

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There is of course the right before left rule in almost all countries, but what makes it stupid here is they take it too far.

 

In countries with sensible road rules, like the UK or Australia (possibly others), when you reach the end of the road and you're at a T Junction, you do NOT have right of way and have to automatically give way to anyone on the other road here. No signs are necessary.

 

Here in Germany, if you reach the end of the road and you're at a T Junction, if there are no signs and you're turning right, you can just fly out onto the new road without looking. If someone hits you, it's their fault.

 

Of course, this rarely happens because there are always signs, in this case a yellow diamond on the main road and a give way sign on the road that ended. Both these signs are however completely useless if you had just had the rule like in the UK or Australia.

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My my, Mr. Bipa, you sure are sensitive to having anyone point out your mistakes. I will quote your erroneous information again:

 

 

And in Germany it is also obvious that I'm not going to stop in the middle of the intersection to let a car coming from the right to proceed. So first come first serve is also the rule in Germany, else we'd all be stopping and blocking intersections all the time.

Nope, not at all. If you are in an area where one road is not designated as the "main road" by a yellow triangle, then the driver coming from another street on the right side has the right to barrel out in front of you, and will indeed do so with glee, regardless of the consequences of causing an accident or not. In your anger at having your mistake pointed out you seem to not even have read or understood all of my post. See the part with the example about the red light for further clarification of my point.

 

As for your attempt to attack my driving, I was citing an incident when I first came to Germany years ago and had no idea about this law. Like nearly all other Americans I have spoken to, I found out the hard way when I had my first near miss (others found out even harder when they had their first accident).

 

Was my post so hard to understand, or does your brain suffer from its own version of "rechts vor links" and simply divert all logic that enters it?

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