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Give way to traffic on the other road - a question for US speakers  
von Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2013-07-09, 11:54  like dislike  Spam?  
Hallo US native speakers, if you have never driven in the UK, can you nevertheless fairly easily (perhaps after a moment or two's reflection) work out what we mean by "give way to traffic on the other road"?
I've purposely not put the answer here, as I'd like to know how hard it is for someone who doesn't know the answer to work out, or if it's possible at all.
I'd also like to know how mystifying the sentence "where can I post a postcard?" is to people not familiar with UK English.
"Give way" is clear to me ("yield to"), but "the other road" wouldn't be.  #715376
von MichaelK (US), 2013-07-09, 13:04  like dislike  Spam?  
Thanks  #715393
von Windfall (GB), 2013-07-09, 13:40  like dislike  Spam?  
Would "give way to traffic from the right" make more sense? The only phrase that I really have in my head is "give way to oncoming traffic", but that's a different sign from the give way sign and I wanted a sentence that realted to that.
I don't think other road is very clear, either, without context (a picture or being at the junction).  #715401
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2013-07-09, 13:45  like dislike  Spam?  
I thought at first that you were trying to explain the rechts vor links rule, but then I saw driven in the UK.
Yes, "traffic from the right" would make it clear.  #715404
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2013-07-09, 13:52  like dislike  Spam?  
Some AE possibilities: Yield to traffic from the right / Traffic from the right has the right-of-way. You need to know though that almost all U.S. Americans have a problem following this because they depend heavily on signage. At an unsigned four-way intersection for example, there would be chaos.
von Windfall (GB), 2013-07-09, 13:58  like dislike  Spam?  
4; Michael, I drove through a load of those at Nashville and never did work out what the rule was. In the end, me going at all relied on my husband saying "I think you can go now, everyone seems to be waiting for you". What is the rule there?

4;Joanne, I've now shortened it to "you give way/yield to traffic". I'm simply trying to get an example of this for a blog entry:
Accordingly the language used to talk about obeying these signs is different. In the US (and for that matter, Canada, Ireland and South Africa) you yield to traffic, in the UK (and the other Commonwealth and English speaking countries not mentioned above) you give way to it.
von MichaelK (US), 2013-07-09, 14:13  like dislike  Spam?  
Windfall, in most U.S. states, the rule is "right-before-left" at unsigned intersection. But as your experience illustrates, hardly anyone knows this (lawyers excepted). It's dangerous to assume that a U.S. driver knows or follows this rule. At unsigned intersections, people generally rely on hand signals from the other driver and a modicum of common sense. It seems to work fairly well.
von Windfall (GB), 2013-07-09, 14:20  like dislike  Spam?  
That explains why we couldn't work out whether it was right before left or the person who got there first who had right of way!
Yes, many people believe it's "who got there first." But not all, so never assume anything.  #715413
von MichaelK (US), 2013-07-09, 14:21  like dislike  Spam?  
MichaelK  #715415
von daskio1, 2013-07-09, 14:24  like dislike  Spam?  84.60.234....
In the midwest I saw several crossroads with 4! stopsigns. Nobody I asked could explain why that is.

I am still interested in hearing the background of that, MichaelK, maybe you can help.
Wikipedia(EN): All-way_stop  #715418
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2013-07-09, 14:30  like dislike  Spam?  
There's a bit here in German - Wikipedia(DE): Vorfahrtsregel
Four-way stops are everywhere in the U.S.  #715420
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2013-07-09, 14:55  like dislike  Spam?  
The basis for those is the assumption that the safest way for motor vehicles to negotiate an intersection is for all vehicles to first come to a complete stop, then proceed according to a state traffic rule. Since most people don't know (or care) if the rule is right-over-left or who-got-there-first, they use hand signals and common sense.

What's interesting about U.S. four-way stops is the fact that traffic engineers don't like them because they impede flow, but residents in subdivisions often exert relentless pressure on local authorities to have them installed. It's not clear if they actually make a subdivision safer or not, but the perception is that they do. They do slow down through-traffic significantly. But with people more and more treating stop signs as yield signs, the days of the four-way stop may be numbered.

As a footnote: in the U.S., business interests and pressure from citizens' groups often influence local traffic engineering departments significantly. For example, business interests along major commercial corridors in suburban areas have a vested interest in slowing traffic down as much as possible and are often successful in doing so.
Thanks, that makes sense.  #715422
von daskio1, 2013-07-09, 15:04  like dislike  Spam?  84.60.234....
Yield to cross traffic  #715468
von DeuRay, 2013-07-09, 21:39  like dislike  Spam?  12.165.172....
The meaning of "post a postcard" is easily figured out by Americans, even though we say "mail a postcard"

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