Reviewing Right-of-Way Laws in Texas

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Brett Pritchard Law

Updated on August 23, 2022

The rules of the road are the guidelines that help keep all who travel on them safer, and some of the most important rules of the road involve the right-of-way. Taking the time to review the basics related to who has the right-of-way can help you and your loved ones stay safe on the road.

Determining Fault in Traffic Accidents

When it comes to determining fault in dangerous traffic accidents, it often boils down to who had the right-of-way in the driving situation at hand. When a motorist fails to yield the right-of-way or attempts to push the boundaries regarding who has the right-of-way, a dangerous accident can result.

Determining the matter of right-of-way can play an essential role in your car accident case. Contact a Killeen personal injury lawyer to make sure you correctly identify the right-of-way information you will need to win your case.

Defining Right-of-Way

The right-of-way refers to who has the right to proceed through traffic and who is required to yield. The motorist who has the right-of-way is granted priority in the traffic situation at hand. All other motorists must yield to his or her safe passage.

Our roads are safest and run the most smoothly when every motorist adheres to the rules of the road and proceeds accordingly. When a motorist ignores the rules related to who has the right-of-way, it can confuse other drivers and dangerously disrupt the flow of traffic.

Identifying Special Right-of-Way Rules

Some special right-of-way rules are specific to specific situations. Here is a list of common situations in which different right-of-way rules apply:


Pedestrians have the right-of-way over vehicles in intersections, crosswalks, parking lots, and areas with heavy foot traffic.


This should be obvious, but trains always have the right-of-way. A train cannot stop in response to traffic and must be afforded the right-of-way as a result. When you see a train coming, it is time to yield and to allow that train as wide a berth as you possibly can.

Emergency Vehicles

When emergency vehicles like police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks have their lights or sirens on, they always have the right-of-way. When you hear a siren or see those flashing lights, it is your responsibility to pull over to the right side of the road as soon as you can do so safely.

School Buses

When a school bus is stopped with its stop sign out or its lights flashing, it has the right-of-way, which—in this case—means that all other vehicles in all directions must come to a stop. Passing is not permitted.

Parking Lots

Parking lots have very specific right-of-way laws. Read “Right-of-Way in Texas Parking Lots” to learn more.

When it comes to situations in which you doubt who has the right-of-way, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Contact a Killeen lawyer if you have additional questions about right-of-way in Texas.

You Need an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side

If someone else’s failure to cede the right-of-way leaves you injured, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with reserves of experience successfully guiding cases like yours to their most beneficial resolutions.

We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (254) 781-4222 for more information today.

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