Right-of-way is a traffic concept that determines the hierarchy of who has the right to make the move first on the road. This concept helps to maintain safe conditions for everyone who is sharing the road and areas around it. This hierarchy of right-of-ways affords drivers and pedestrians a certain level of trust in each other to move about safely and avoid accidents that could potentially lead to injuries or death. If you experience a collision due to a breach of right-of-way laws, a San Antonio car accident attorney may be able to help.
Motorist Right-of-Way Laws
The concept of right-of-way only works if everyone obeys and participates in the rules because even if just one person fails to follow them, it can affect everyone around them. For motorists, these laws include:
- When turning left, drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians
- When turning right, drivers much yield to pedestrians and through traffic
- Trains are always given the right-of-way
- All traffic must yield emergency vehicles with lights and/or sirens, and school buses
- Drivers merging onto a paved road from an unpaved road must yield the traffic on the paved road
- When approaching a main road from an alley, private road, or any other smaller road, drivers must yield traffic on the main road
- At four-way intersections, drivers should yield through traffic
- Drivers at intersections with no signage or lights should yield cars already in the intersection and the traffic to their right
When drivers follow these rules, they work together to prevent accidents and create safe driving conditions.
Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws
Right-of-way laws are not just for drivers. Cars and pedestrians share the road and come into close contact and interact. The right-of-way laws provide protection for pedestrians when crossing the road, which is important because they are much more vulnerable to injuries than vehicle passengers if they collide. Due to the size and weight of a car pedestrians are at a huge disadvantage, and right-of-way laws favor and protect them.
Right-of-way laws that protect pedestrians include:
- Pedestrians must be allowed and given time to cross the street at a green light, even if the light turns red while they are crossing the street
- Vehicles must yield to pedestrians crossing the street when the light is green, even if they do not have a walk signal or it is not illuminated
- Vehicles must yield to pedestrians, even if they are crossing the road illegally
Why Should You Follow the Right-of-Way Laws?
As a driver in Texas, it is your responsibility to follow the right-of-way laws set in place. These laws are designed to keep you, and everyone you share the road with, safe. If you fail to follow any of these rules and cause harm to another driver or pedestrian you may end up facing serious consequences.
Take the time to learn Texas right-of-way laws and follow the proper yielding procedures while you are on the road. Doing so keeps the roadways safe, and following these rules could make the difference between life and death. Speak to a car and truck accident attorney in San Antonio if you experience a collision.