The purpose of traffic laws is to prevent car accidents. For instance, laws specifying who must yield the right of way prevent collisions at intersections, highway entrance ramps, and other locations. When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way, a pedestrian, bicyclist, or other motorist may sustain life-threatening injuries in a motor vehicle collision.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way – A Deadly Problem
In 2018, failure to yield the right-of-way was responsible for 3,706 traffic deaths. Only speeding, impaired driving, and improper lane changes caused more fatal crashes in 2018 than failure to yield the right-of-way.
What Does it Mean to Yield the Right of Way in New York?
Allowing other vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians to move ahead of you or cross the road in front of you is what it means to yield the right of way. In addition to intersections, right-of-way laws apply in a variety of other places and circumstances.
Failure to yield the right-of-way is a common cause of collisions at intersections. If there are traffic signals, you must always obey them. When approaching an intersection without traffic lights, vehicles must yield to those already present.
When making a left turn, you must yield to oncoming traffic, if any. At a four-way stop, drivers who arrive simultaneously must yield to the driver on the right.
At a T-intersection, the drivers on the through street have the right of way. The driver approaching a dead-end cannot make a left or right turn until it is safe to do so without endangering oncoming traffic.
For more information on intersections and turns, consult the DMV’s guide.
Every time a driver merges onto a larger road, they must yield to oncoming traffic. This rule applies to side roads, driveways, parking lots, alleys, private roads, and situations that are comparable.
When a yield sign is present, you are required to yield to traffic that is already on the road or is approaching your vehicle. When entering a traffic circle, observe and obey yield signs. Drivers entering a traffic circle, roundabout, or rotary are required to yield to vehicles already in the circle.
In marked and unmarked crosswalks, pedestrians typically have the right of way. Almost always, drivers must slow down and yield to pedestrians. If a pedestrian enters a crosswalk at a green light, the driver must wait until the pedestrian has crossed the road before proceeding.
Pedestrians must obey the traffic signals at intersections that dictate the right of way, for instance. Vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing pedestrian-only bridges or tunnels. When crossing roads at locations other than intersections or marked crosswalks, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
Bicycles qualify as vehicles. Unless an exception applies, bicyclists must adhere to the same right-of-way laws as motorists.
Who is Responsible for a Right of Way Accident?
The driver who failed to yield the right of way is liable for any damages caused by an accident involving the right of way. All New York drivers are expected to understand and obey the laws governing the right of way. Drivers can review right-of-way regulations in the DMV-supplied Driver’s Manual and the New York Traffic Code.
Damages resulting from a failure to yield the right-of-way include:
- Medical expenses and costs
- Physical suffering and pain
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Loss of benefits, wages, and other sources of revenue
- Reduced earning capacity
- emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of life’s pleasure
Call the police immediately to report a collision involving a right-of-way violation. Ensure that you exchange information with the other driver and obtain the names and contact details of any witnesses.
Photograph and record a video of the accident scene. Attempt to capture all roadside traffic signs, signals, skid marks, and debris. As soon as possible, jot down details about the collision, such as the weather, the colour of the traffic light, what the other driver said, and so on, before your memory begins to fade.
If you did not cause the collision, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, the other driver may blame you for the collision, or your insurer may refuse to pay you the full amount of your damages. After a traffic collision, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel from a New York City car accident attorney.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.