Law

Can I Use the “Right-of-Way” as a Legal Defense in an Auto Accident?

For traffic to flow safely, all motorists must adhere closely to the rules of the road, and these include specific rules related to yielding the right-of-way to other vehicles. Motorists who fail or refuse to yield the right-of-way make our roads more dangerous for everyone who travels on them. Sometimes, you might get blamed for causing a car crash when, in fact, you had the right-of-way.

If you need help proving that the other driver was negligent, and therefore, liable for your losses, you should look to an experienced Georgia auto accident attorney who can help you recover from the driver who was truly at fault.

Right-of-Way Laws in Georgia

In the State of Georgia, there are highly specific right-of-way laws in place, including:

  • When approaching an intersection with a stop sign, you must yield the right-of-way to anyone – on foot, on a bike, or in a vehicle – who arrives at the intersection before you.
  • When approaching an intersection with no stop sign or signal, whoever arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way. If you arrive at the same time as another vehicle, whoever is on the righthas the right-of-way.
  • At four-way stops, pedestrians are always afforded the right-of-way, and motorists may proceed on a first-come, first-served basis. Again, if you arrive at the same time as another vehicle, whoever is on the righthas the right-of-way.
  • When approaching a yield sign, motorists must slow down and prepare to safely accommodate oncoming traffic.
  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way when merging into an established lane of traffic.
  • When on a secondary road, on a private road, or in an alley, motorists who are entering or crossing a main roadway must yield the right-of-way to traffic and pedestrians already in that main roadway.
  • Drivers may turn right on red wherever there is no sign prohibiting such a turn – but only after yielding to any oncoming traffic.
  • Motorists are always required to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles – such as police, fire, and EMS vehicles – whenever they have their sirens and lights going. Yielding the right-of-way in this situation involves slowing down considerably and moving to the side of the road (or pulling through the intersection a driver finds himself or herself in and then pulling over).
  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way to those working in construction zones and to highway maintenance vehicles.
  • Motorists are prohibited from passing a school bus that has its red lights and stop sign activated.

Your Defense

If another driver accuses you of being at fault for a car accident that leaves you injured, demonstrating a right-of-way infraction on that driver’s part can serve as a strong defense. Motorists who rush through stop signs and lights, who ignore yield signs, or who fail to adhere to the right-of-way rules are often at the heart of dangerous car accidents – sometimes, without even being aware of the role they play.

Call an Experienced Cumming Car Accident Attorney Today

If another driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way leaves you injured, the Forsyth County car accident attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland are prepared to bring the full force of their experience and legal savvy in defense of your rights. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 today.

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