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What Does Yielding the Right of Way Mean?

Posted in Car Accidents on December 26, 2021

Car accidents have many potential causes. Many occur because a driver failed to yield the right of way.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what yielding the right of way involves. Many motorists struggle to understand this rule of the road. The following overview will answer your questions.

When to Yield the Right of Way

Yielding the right of way means allowing another motorist to proceed before you do. It’s worth noting that traffic laws generally don’t grant anyone the right of way. Instead, they state when a motorist must yield the right of way.

Under New York law, a driver must yield the right of way in the following circumstances:

  • When they approach a yield right of way sign
  • When traffic is currently in an intersection that a motorist is approaching (for example, a car may be turning left through an intersection as you are driving through it with a green light)
  • When you arrive at an intersection and a driver traveling in the opposite direction arrives at the same time, a driver turning left must yield the right of way to the driver going straight or making a right turn
  • Drivers turning left must yield to approaching traffic
  • When you reach an intersection at the same time as another driver and there is no sign indicating otherwise, if you are at a right angle to each other, the driver on the left must yield the right of way to the driver on the right
  • Drivers leaving driveways, parking lots, and similar areas that are not technically roads must yield to pedestrians and traffic on the road already
  • Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians using crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked
  • If a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk and a red light turns green, any drivers waiting at the red light must wait for the pedestrian to get out of the crosswalk before proceeding
  • Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks on either their left or right before making turns
  • Drivers must not enter intersections in heavy traffic if doing so could prevent drivers on the other side from getting through the intersection
  • Drivers entering traffic circles must yield the right of way to motorists already in the traffic circle

Failure to yield the right of way is one of the most common causes of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. Not yielding the right of way can result in pedestrian accidents as well.

Driving Safely on NYC Roads

Your primary goal should be to familiarize yourself with the right-of-way laws as thoroughly as possible. However, there will be some occasions when you do not know who has the right of way.

You should keep the following tips in mind in these instances:

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • If you are unsure of whether you have the right of way, consider yielding the right of way to another driver
  • Follow the rule of “whoever arrives at an intersection first (including pedestrians) gets to proceed first”
  • Approach yield signs with caution and only proceed through them if you have confirmed there are no approaching vehicles or pedestrians

You should also follow basic driving rules that can prevent accidents. For example, when you arrive at a stop sign, be sure to come to a complete stop before continuing. Additionally, always keep an eye out for pedestrians in crosswalks. This is particularly important at night when pedestrians can be difficult to spot.

Remember, properly yielding the right of way doesn’t just keep you safer on the road. It keeps everyone else safe as well. Contact a personal injury lawyer If another driver caused your car accident by failing to yield the right of way. They can explain your legal options for recovering compensation.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600