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Glenn Law Firm Logo
April 20, 2021

Road rules exist to smoothen the flow of traffic on the road and to create a safe environment for all drivers. Certain situations demand that a driver stops for the other person and offer them a right-of-way. To maintain a safe atmosphere on the road and to avoid traffic accidents, it is important to know when to yield the legal right of way and why it is important to be flexible here.

This article will share insights into how you can judge who has the right of way in certain instances and what can happen if you don’t yield. Just a friendly heads up, not yielding can bring about devastating results, and you don’t want to be involved in such a mess. Illegal maneuvers and ignoring the right-of-way can cause car accidents.

PS, if you were in an accident because someone else failed to yield the legal right of way, then you’ll be well within your rights to file a compensation claim with the insurance company representing the liable party. Thus knowing the legal right-of-way and when to yield is important in more than one way.

When To Yield The Legal Right-Of-Way In Texas?

How Does The Right-Of-Way Work On Intersections?

So when should you yield the right of way, and when do you have that right? There are a set of laws that govern who gets to go first. Of course, you can never count on the other party to yield the right-of-way, thus be extra careful at intersections because negligence accidents happen in the thousands throughout Texas – please, don’t be another statistic.

Here are the rules/laws in this regard:

Motor vehicle drivers driving down unpaved roads will have to yield the right-of-way when they come across an intersection with a paved roadway where the traffic is flowing. Here, you must slow down and proceed only when there is no oncoming vehicle in the vicinity.

If you come across an uncontrolled intersection (these intersections don’t have a traffic control signal or stop/yield signs) you must give the way to those who’re already at the intersection and proceed cautiously.

You’ll have to yield when turning at an intersection. For left-turns, the pedestrians crossing the street and the vehicles traveling on the opposite lane have the right of way. For right-turns, traffic pouring into the said lane, and any pedestrians crossing the street have the right to the path.

If you’re traveling down a private road, lane, or alley that opens up into an intersection on the main road, you’ll have to yield to any oncoming traffic as they have the right-of-way here.

If you come across a railroad crossing (intersection), you’ll have to stop (if it says so), even if you see an oncoming train but no stop sign, you’ll still have to yield the right-of-way. Trains always have the right here, whether there is a stop sign or not – and ignoring this right can have devastating consequences because being struck by a moving train almost always results in a fatality.

Right-Of-Way For Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles, and so on, are called “emergency” vehicles for a reason – they’re in a rush. Someone’s life may be hanging in balance, or a building may be on fire, or some crooks may be in the middle of a heist – common sense tells you to offer the right-of-way for these vehicles.

These vehicle operators will use sirens and flashy lights to let you know where they are. Move aside, even pull over (if you have to), and let these vehicles pass. Motorists are required by law to allow these vehicles to pass but don’t pull over in the middle of an intersection.

But do so as soon as you’re at the intersection, pull over as soon as possible; just a PS, school buses also have a right-of-way by default.

Right-Of-Way For Pedestrians

Pedestrians can use crossing points located strategically throughout the roads of Texas, and most of them have an associated traffic control device. Even if a pedestrian is not using the marked crosswalk on the road legally (i.e. violating the pedestrian control signal), they still have the right-of-way; the same applies for unmarked crosswalks.

You’ll have to slow down or even stop for the pedestrians and allow them to cross because their safety is more important than your rush.

Be extra cautious here because not all crossing points have signals to guide the pedestrians and drivers, but you’ll have to yield them the right of way regardless; many pedestrian accidents result due to such negligence and they can have devastating consequences (such as wrongful death). An ideal practice in this regard is to offer the pedestrians the right-of-way even if they’re crossing the road illegally.

In short, pedestrians have the right-of-way even if you get the green light to drive.

Violations Of The Right-Of-Way

Violating the law regarding right-of-way will get you points on your license and a fine. The fine may range between $50 and $200 in case of a baseline violation. However, if your actions result in an injury, the fine may be as high as $2,000.

It may swell up to $4,000 in cases involving serious injuries.

If you were involved in an accident where the other party failed to yield the legal right-of-way in violation of traffic laws, you can sue them for damages (such as medical bills, property damage, and non-economic damages), and seek compensation.

Knowing who had the right-of-way when an accident happened will help you better define who was at-fault. If you can prove that your right-of-way was violated, you can better present your case before the insurance company and win fair compensation for your losses.

An experienced personal injury lawyer from Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims will help you identify the liable parties for your accident case, build your case, and offer legal representation at all levels. This way, you can ensure maximum compensation for your personal injury claim.

And, in case you were worried about hiring fees and other upfront payments, don’t be because we won’t demand either.

Consultation is free, so don't worry, call us today, and we’ll show you how we can help you!

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