Even though everybody understands that they need to abide by the rules of the road to ensure the safety of everybody around them, the reality is that the failure to yield the right-of-way is a significant contributor to vehicle accidents throughout Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, there can be some confusion about what the right-of-way laws are throughout the Commonwealth. Here, we want to discuss Pennsylvania’s right-of-way laws, as well as what crash victims can do if they are involved in a collision caused by a negligent driver.
Understanding Pennsylvania’s Right-of-Way Laws
It is important to understand that the term “right-of-way” is used to describe the right that one vehicle will have over another to proceed in a given situation. Anytime someone gets behind the wheel, they will encounter various types of right-of-way situations, even if they are just driving a short distance. Every motorist is expected to abide by the traffic laws that regulate the right-of-way in Pennsylvania. Failing to abide by these laws will likely result in an accident occurring.
Motorists in Pennsylvania are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are using a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Any drivers approaching vehicles already stopped at a crosswalk cannot pass the stopped vehicle.
It is crucial for all drivers to obey right-of-way laws at intersections, as these are areas that result in significant confusion and massive collisions. If two vehicles approach an intersection at the same time from different directions, Pennsylvania right-of-way laws must be followed. If an intersection does not have any four-way signs or signals, the driver who arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way. If drivers arrive at an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver on the left has to yield to the driver on the right.
Intersections are also areas where there could be traffic lights, including arrows, that let drivers know when they can proceed and when they should yield. These lights must be followed.
Drivers are required to stop at a mark stop sign. Any driver stopped at a stop sign must wait for oncoming traffic to pass before proceeding. If there is a four-way stop sign, this will be handled just like a situation where there is a four-way intersection. The driver who gets there first will have the right-of-way. If drivers arrive at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
Yield signs are indicators that a person must slow down to a reasonable speed to determine whether or not it is safe to merge or proceed. After slowing down or stopping, a motorist must yield the right-of-way to any oncoming traffic close enough to pose a hazard.
Left turns can be perilous, particularly because this often involves one driver crossing other lanes of traffic. If there is no left turn arrow at an intersection, the law in Pennsylvania states that the driver turning left must yield the right-of-way to any oncoming traffic from the opposite direction. Motorists turning left must be in the lane farthest to the left of the traffic in the direction they are going. Additionally, drivers making left-hand turns must use their turn signal at least 100 feet before turning if they are traveling at 35 mph or slower. Any person traveling faster than 35 mph turn signal 100 feet before a turn.
What if You are Injured in a Right-of-Way Crash?
If you have been injured in a right-of-way accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. It is crucial for an attorney to determine liability so that victims can secure full compensation for their losses. This can include coverage of medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more. An experienced car accident attorney will be responsible for handling every aspect of these claims on behalf of injury victims.