Jason Stephens | August 31, 2022 | Texas Law
“Right-of-way” is one of the very first things new drivers should learn about when obtaining a license. Still, many drivers forget or fail to realize there are right-of-way laws in Texas.
Continue reading to learn about the several right-of-way laws in Texas and the potential consequences of failing to yield the right-of-way.
What Does “Right of Way” Mean?
Simply put, when you give someone, either a car or a pedestrian, the right-of-way, you’re allowing them to go ahead of you. Right-of-way scenarios are most common at intersections and when merging onto highways.
There are certain scenarios where a driver is legally required to give another person the right of way. Failing to do so can result in legal consequences but is also frequently the cause of car accidents.
Texas’s Right-of-Way Laws
Like other states, Texas has its own laws regarding right-of-way. The right-of-way laws are listed below.
Right-of-Way at Intersections
If you’re at an uncontrolled intersection, you must yield the right-of-way to the traffic already in the intersection. If you approach at the same time as another vehicle, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way.
If you’re driving on an unpaved road and approach a paved road, you are required to yield the right-of-way to any traffic on the paved road.
If you’re approaching a road from a driveway, alleyway, or private road, yield the right-of-way to traffic already on the main road.
When turning right at an intersection, through traffic and pedestrians have the right-of-way.
When turning left at an intersection, yield the right-of-way to opposing traffic and pedestrians.
At railroad crossings, trains have the right-of-way.
Following the right-of-way laws at intersections helps minimize avoidable traffic accidents.
Right-of-Way for Emergency Vehicles
Emergency vehicles are exceptions. If an emergency vehicle is approaching — whether it be a police cruiser, firetruck, or ambulance — and it has its siren and lights on, you must always move out of the way to let them through.
While you always need to stop, make sure to do so safely. If you’re crossing an intersection when you notice an emergency vehicle coming, don’t just stop in the middle of the intersection; finish crossing and then pull off the road toward your right.
Right-of-Way for Pedestrians
The law also says the following regarding pedestrians and the right-of-way:
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way even if they don’t have the “walk” sign
- If a pedestrian is in the middle of an intersection and the light turns red, they’re allowed to finish crossing
- Even if a pedestrian is illegally crossing, you must still give them the right-of-way in the interest of safety
You should always remain alert while driving and take special notice of pedestrians crossing the road.
Penalties for Failing to Yield the Right-of-Way
If a driver fails to yield the right-of-way, they can face penalties.
Penalties depend on the circumstances but can involve expensive fines and points on your driver’s license.
Aside from the legal consequences, failing to yield the right-of-way is one of the most common causes of car accidents. A car accident can result in serious injuries, property damage, and financial losses.
For a Right-of-Way Violation Accident, Consult a Car Accident Attorney
If you’re involved in a collision resulting from a right-of-way violation, do not hesitate to consult a car accident lawyer.
When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way, this can be used to prove liability and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107