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Right-of-Way Rundown

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It is crucial for all drivers to understand the rules of the road, which exist to keep drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe from harm. One common source of confusion concerns the right-of-way, which often becomes a point of contention after a collision.

Who had the right-of-way? Who violated the right-of-way? Who is responsible for the crash?

The Dallas car accident lawyers at the Tate Law Offices, P.C., understand how right-of-way accidents happen, and we’ve seen how they can lead to severe and possibly fatal injuries.

If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, we want to speak with you. Call our office to schedule a free consultation with us today.

What is Right-of-Way? Who Has It?

The right-of-way is a principle that establishes which pedestrian or vehicle has the legal right to proceed through traffic first. Whoever has the right-of-way has priority, and all others must yield to them.

When someone violates the right-of-way, they can confuse the order of the road and cause a collision as a result.

The following are all subject to special right-of-way rules:

  • Pedestrians – At intersections, crosswalks, in parking lots, and near areas with heavy foot traffic, pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles.
  • Emergency Vehicles – Emergency response vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars all have the right-of-way when their lights and sirens are activated. If you are driving and you hear sirens or see lights, you should pull to the right side of the road as soon as you are safely able to do so. If you are passing through an intersection, once you are through it, pull to the side. Do not enter an intersection if an emergency vehicle is approaching in cross traffic.
  • Trains – Trains have the right-of-way and should always be given a wide berth. They are simply unable to stop the way a car can. While many railroad crossings are protected by automatic crossing barriers, some are not. In any case, when you see a train coming, not only should you yield, but you should stay as far back as possible.
  • School Buses – All other cars must stop for school buses when they are stopped with lights flashing or the stop sign is extended. Passing is not permitted in this situation because students disembarking could be passing in both directions. A first offense citation for failing to yield for a school bus is $1,250.

What Are the Texas Right-of-Way Laws?

Right-of-way laws in Texas apply to a variety of situations. Understand what action to take if you find yourself in the following scenarios:

  • Unpaved Roadway – Whether merging or meeting at an intersection, drivers on unpaved roads must yield the right-of-way to vehicles on the paved roadway.
  • Uncontrolled Intersections – Intersections without any signage or lights are referred to as uncontrolled intersections. The driver who first approaches the intersection has the right-of-way. If you approach an intersection at the same time as another driver, the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way.
  • Turning – If you are turning right, yield to the pedestrians moving across your lane. If you are turning left over traffic, yield to any pedestrians as well as oncoming traffic.
  • Private Roads and Main Roads – Drivers merging onto the main road from private roads must give the right-of-way to drivers on the main road.

How Can Tate Law Offices, P.C., Help Me?

The skilled trial attorneys at Tate Law Offices, P.C., have extensive experience helping those who have been hurt in a right-of-way accident. Whether you’ve been injured as a passenger, driver, or pedestrian, we are ready to sit down with you and discuss your rights and legal options.

Call us, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live now to schedule a free consultation.


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