What is Yielding the Right of Way?

Yielding the Right of Way

Every community has a set of traffic laws in place that all drivers must follow to prevent automobile accidents. Laws stating who should be yielding the right of way at intersections, onramps, and other locations aren’t always followed, which can lead to devastating consequences.

When drivers fail to yield the right of way, they can hit pedestrians, bicyclists, or other vehicles and cause catastrophic injuries.

Most right-of-way car accidents happen as a result of distraction or negligence. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter why a driver fails to yield the right of way. The resulting injuries will still be the same.

Yielding to the Right of Way Can Save Lives

Failing to yield the right of way is the fourth most fatal form of driver negligence. In 2018, it caused 3,706 known traffic fatalities. That’s more than any other issue aside from impaired driving, improper lane changes, and speeding.

What Does Yield Mean in Driving?

Yielding in traffic means letting someone else proceed before you. When a driver yields the right of way in New York, they allow pedestrians, bicyclists, or other vehicles to cross or move ahead on the road before them. It applies primarily to intersections, but there are also other situations where drivers must yield the right of way.

Right of Way at Intersections

Intersection accidents almost always occur as a result of one or more drivers’ failure to yield the right of way. In some cases, that means failing to obey traffic lights. If there are no lights present, it means failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks or other cars already at or in the intersection. There are also a few other things drivers need to know about right-of-way laws regarding intersections.

  • Left turns must yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Drivers arriving at the same time at four-way stops must yield the right of way to the rightmost car.
  • Drivers on through streets always have the right of way at T-intersections.

Yielding When Turning onto Highways

When drivers turn from smaller roads onto larger ones, they are always required to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. This law applies not just to roads but also to driveways, parking lots, and alleys.

What Do Yield Signs Mean?

When yield signs are present, drivers must obey them. That includes rotaries. If no signs are present at a rotary, drivers should yield to those already in the traffic circle.

Right of Way for Pedestrians

As a general rule, pedestrians always have the right of way. Even if a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk as the light turns green, drivers must wait until they have crossed the road before moving through the intersection.

Drivers also need to yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing bridges or tunnels intended for their use. However, pedestrians must yield the right of way to cars when not crossing at intersections or crosswalks.

Do Bicycles Have the Right of Way?

In New York City, bicycles are considered vehicles for traffic purposes. That means that they must follow traffic laws as if they are a regular vehicle. Bicyclists must also follow the same laws as drivers regarding yielding the right of way.

Accidents That Involve Yielding the Right of Way

The first thing to do after a right-of-way accident is to call the police and file a report. It’s also important for injured parties to gather evidence and contact information, if possible, and seek medical attention immediately.

After that, contact a traffic lawyer as soon as possible. Do so in order to discuss legal options for holding the responsible party liable and to recoup any financial losses. If you think you were responsible for a right of way accident, then an accident lawyer can help protect you. Failure when yielding the right of way can have an immense impact, so act now.

Need Legal Help?

Select your legal issue below to connect with a lawyer