Every state has its own rules of the road and laws designed to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe. These regulations cover the entire driving experience, everything from who is allowed to drive to speed limits to insurance requirements. Given the prevalence of driving in our culture and how dangerous it can be when people don’t drive safely, it is a good thing that we have as many laws as we do.

That being said, it can be challenging to remember what you need to do in each and every scenario you encounter on the road. This is especially true when it comes to remembering the rules regarding the right of way.

Interestingly, most laws on the books don’t specifically give the right of way to drivers, but rather state who must yield the right of way in various situations. Perhaps the most common and easiest to remember is when a driver comes upon a yield sign. The sign simply means that the driver must wait until traffic is clear before proceeding.

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Common Right of Way Scenarios

There are many other situations on the road where you need to know who must give up, or yield the right of way. Yielding the right of way is crucial for your own safety, the safety of other drivers and passengers, and it is especially important for pedestrians who are in a more vulnerable position than drivers.

Some of the most common scenarios that involve yielding the right of way include:

  • At four-way stops where two or more vehicles come to a stop at the same time (it is the car to the left that must yield the right of way to the car on the right)
  • At pedestrian crosswalks when pedestrians are present, vehicles must yield the right of way to those pedestrians
  • At T intersections the vehicle that is entering the new road must yield to traffic that is already on that road

Another common situation in which drivers must yield the right of way is when they are leaving a driveway or parking lot. As a rule of thumb, a car entering a roadway must yield the right of way to vehicles that are already on the roadway.

Why You Should Yield the Right of Way

First and foremost, every driver should observe right of way rules and laws in order to keep everyone safe. Failure to yield the right of when can lead to serious injury and even death.

Another reason you should yield the right of way when appropriate is because it is the law. If a police officer catches you cutting off other vehicles or failing to yield the right of way, you could be issued a ticket or fine. This in turn could increase your insurance rates and have other negative consequences.

Finally, you should yield the right of way when required by law so as to limit your liability in the case of an accident. If you fail to yield the right of way and get in a car accident because of it, not only would that hurt your chances of being able to recover damages, but it could also mean you have to pay for the damages caused in the accident.

What To Do if Another Driver Fails to Yield the Right of Way

If you have been in an accident in which another driver failed to yield the right of way, contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in handling car accidents. Whenever another party is negligent or fails to offer the duty of care a reasonable person should offer and you are injured or suffer property damage as a result, that person, or their insurance company, should cover your damages.

With the help of a skilled car accident lawyer, you can get to the bottom of your accident to determine who was at fault. Your lawyer can also help you maximize your recovery so you aren’t stuck paying for medical bills or repairs to your car.

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