Reviewing the Right-of-Way
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 out there.
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.
What Is the 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 the matter for other drivers. It can dangerously disrupt the flow of traffic.
Special Right-of-Way Rules
Some special right-of-way rules are specific to specific situations, including:
Pedestrians – Pedestrians have the right-of-way over vehicles in intersections, crosswalks, parking lots, and areas with heavy foot traffic.
Trains – 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.
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.