What Does Yielding the Right of Way Mean?

Every driver has heard the term, “yielding the right of way.” But not every driver understands what the phrase means. This guide can help if you think you know how to yield the right of way, but haven’t been quite sure that you’re doing it right.

Yielding the right of way means allowing another driver to enter an intersection first. But when should you yield, and when is it your turn to proceed? Find out below.

When Does Yielding the Right of Way Apply?

Most often, the phrase “yielding the right of way” refers to expected behaviors at an intersection. You may be interested to know that the phrase can also apply to a handful of other driving scenarios. 

For example, when a driver is merging onto a highway or approaching a dead end, there may be an opportunity to yield the right of way. 

What Happens if You Fail to Yield Right of Way?

Failure to follow a “yield right of way” sign is a leading cause of car accidents in the United States. These accidents range in severity, sometimes causing devastating injuries and expensive damages.

In some cases, an accident only results in a fender bender and minor injuries. But in cases that involve excessive speeds or heavy trucks, the damages can be more intense. Failure to yield the right of way can even result in a wrongful death suit. 

A traffic ticket is another possible consequence of failing to yield. Even if the intersection has no yield sign, lights, or stop signs, drivers are expected to yield the right of way before entering.

How to Yield the Right of Way

To yield the right of way, you need to understand the expected behavior for drivers in different scenarios. Here is a helpful list of tips to use as a baseline:

  • When you approach an intersection, obey all signs and signals
  • If there are no signs or signals, yield to any car that is already in the intersection
  • If you approach simultaneously with another driver, yield to the car on the right
  • Always yield to vehicles approaching from a larger or multi-lane road
  • At a T-shaped intersection, the driver on the dead-end street must yield
  • Always yield to pedestrians

However, it’s important to remember that you cannot expect all drivers to follow the guidelines listed above. For this reason, you should always exercise caution before you enter an intersection. 

Even if you make eye contact with another driver, you cannot assume that they will yield the right of way. Assume the worst and remember that your safety matters more than asserting your own right of way. 

Should You Call an Attorney After an Accident?

Has another driver caused an accident by failing to yield the right of way? Did that accident result in injuries to your person or damages to your property? If you answered yes to both questions, call an attorney. 
Yielding the right of way means more than following an assumed behavior; it means obeying the law. Any person who is at fault for an accident should be held liable for the damage they have caused. An attorney can help you seek compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Northwest Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Destin car accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243