Ontario Right of Way Laws

cars at intersectionWhen driving, motorists encounter many situations in which one driver must give up the right of way to another driver or pedestrian in order to avoid a collision.

Although this is an important concept, many motorists are either unfamiliar with who is required to yield the right of way or simply fail to follow this important rule of the road. Because of this, many preventable accidents occur every day.

Those who have been injured in this type of auto accident, should immediately contact an experienced Windsor car accident lawyer, as you may have legal options. At Greg Monforton & Partners, we have handled many cases involving this type of collision and can help you fight for the compensation you need for your injuries.


Intersections – the area where two roads meet – are one of the most common locations where drivers must yield the right of way. Because of this, it is vital that motorists are alert, focused and carefully looking for other cars, pedestrians and cyclists when driving through intersections.

The two most common types of intersections you will encounter in Ontario include:

  • Controlled intersections: with yield signs, stop signs or traffic lights that control the movement of traffic
  • Uncontrolled intersections: with no signs or traffic lights

The type of intersection you are at and the circumstances of the situation will determine if you must yield the right of way and let another driver go first.

The rules about who must yield the right of way include:

Intersection with No Signs

If two vehicles approach an uncontrolled intersection, the one that arrived first will have the right of way. If both vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle approaching from the right has the right of way.

Four-Way Stop

The rule is similar for vehicles approaching an intersection with a stop sign on every corner.

At a four-way stop, the driver who arrives first will have the right of way. If more than one vehicle arrives at the same time, the vehicle approaching from the right has the right of way.

Yield Sign

If you are approaching a yield sign, you must give up the right of way to any traffic in the intersection or intersecting road. This sign requires that you slow down or come to a stop if necessary until your path is free from other vehicles.

Turning Left

If you are planning to turn left at an intersection, you must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and any pedestrians crossing your path.

Turning Right

When turning right, you must yield to any pedestrians or cyclists who are traveling next to you in the same direction or crossing the street in your path.

Private Roadway

When entering a road from a private driveway or road, you must yield the right of way to vehicles on the main road and any pedestrians on the sidewalk or cyclists in the bike lane.

Pedestrian Crossings

Another important situation in which motorists must yield the right of way is when pedestrians are present. Because pedestrians lack the protections of vehicles, it is vital that motorists obey Ontario’s pedestrian laws and understand when they should yield to pedestrians.


R.S.O 1990, c. H8 section 144(7) of the Highway Traffic Act identifies a pedestrian crosswalk as two white lines that make a path at an intersection. These are most often located at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights.

The law gives pedestrians within a crosswalk the right of way. This means that vehicles are required to stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk.


Crossovers also include markings on the surface of a road along with signs and special lights, and are not always located at intersections.

As of Jan. 1, 2016, vehicles and cyclists are required to stop and give pedestrians the entire road when using a crossover. They must:

  • Come to a complete stop before entering a crossover
  • Not pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crossover or within 30 metres of a crossover
  • Not drive through a crossover until all pedestrians have crossed and are no longer in the roadway

Contact Our Windsor Car Accident Lawyers

If you believe you have been injured by a negligent driver who failed to yield the right of way, you should not hesitate to contact Greg Monforton & Partners today.

We are experienced personal injury lawyers located in Windsor who know the many laws and regulations motorists must follow. Through a free, no obligation consultation, we can help you determine if you have a case. If you do, we will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Because we work on a contingency fee, we offer free consultations and do not charge any upfront fees. We only get paid if we obtain compensation on your behalf.

Call (866) 320-4770 today for a free consultation.