Brian White | January 19, 2023 | Auto Accidents
It’s high noon in Texas, and you’re driving down a dusty dirt road. You pull up to a four-way stop at the same time as another vehicle. An eagle screeches somewhere in the distance as you stare down the other driver, both of you wondering who will go for their accelerator first.
While real right of way dilemmas may not be this dramatic, they can play an important role in determining who’s at fault in a car accident. Read on to learn more about Texas’s right of way laws.
Pedestrian Right of Way Rules
As a general rule, pedestrians always have the right of way simply because in a collision with a car, they will always come out worse. Even if a pedestrian should yield the right of way and doesn’t, the car is still required to stop for them.
However, there are a few situations where pedestrians explicitly have the right of way.
When a crosswalk light shows that pedestrians can walk or a green light at an intersection with no pedestrian light, pedestrians have right of way. If a pedestrian has already begun crossing when the light turns red, they still maintain the right of way. And pedestrians always maintain the right of way when crossing driveways and entrances to alleys.
Intersection Right of Way Rules
There are some specific rules governing who has the right of way at intersections.
In general, the right of way stays with the flow of traffic. For instance, if a car is passing through an intersection when the light turns red, they maintain the right of way until they’re clear of the intersection.
If two cars pull up to an uncontrolled intersection at the same time, the car to the right has the right of way. If a vehicle is turning out of a drive or an alley, the cars passing on the road have the right of way. And drivers on paved roads maintain the right of way at intersections with unpaved roads.
Parking Lot Right of Way Rules
Navigating right of way in parking lots can be especially tricky.
In most cases, cars in the main thoroughfares of the lot maintain the right of way. If a driver is backing out, they have to wait until the traffic behind them clears to get out of the spot.
If two drivers are backing out at the same time, the driver who started moving first has the right of way. If both start moving at the same time, there is no clear driver right of way and both drivers can be held liable if there’s a car crash.
Simply put, use common sense when determining who has backing up right of way.
Other Right of Way Rules
There are several right of way circumstances that fall outside the categories we’ve just discussed.
For instance, you always have to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles, such as police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and the like. Trains and school buses also get special right of way clearance.
How Right of Way Can Impact Your Car Accident Claim
You may wonder why this right of way stuff matters so much in the first place.
Aside from it being helpful in avoiding accidents, right of way laws can determine who’s at fault for a car accident. If someone gets injured in the accident, the at-fault party could be held liable for those damages.
If you were injured in a car crash in Texas, the right of way laws could help you prove that you’re owed compensation. Likewise, they can protect you from claims that the accident was actually your fault.
But you’ll need a good lawyer to argue your case and prove that you were in the right (of way).
Get Representation in Your Car Accident Case
Often, deciding who’s at fault in a Texas car accident comes down to determining who had the right of way. Pedestrians, emergency vehicles, and trains always maintain the right of way. In other situations, the right of way usually goes to the vehicles in the flow of traffic or those already in the intersection.
If you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you need a good lawyer fighting for your case. At Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re ready to stand up to the insurance companies and make sure you get the money you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with us today and get the representation you need.
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