What Does Yielding the Right-of-Way Mean? 

“Yielding the right-of-way” is an often misunderstood term. Many Arizona drivers don’t know what it means or how to apply it when driving. Understanding right-of-way laws can help make drivers safer and ensure they know their rights after an accident. 

Here’s a look at what yielding the right-of-way means for Arizona drivers. For more traffic law questions or if you’ve been in an Arizona car accident, contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer. 

What Does “Right-of-Way” Mean in Arizona?

“Right-of-way” is a legal right for a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist to continue along a public road before others. Yielding the right-of-way simply means letting another person on the road continue through before you. 

Right-of-way rules establish which people on the road have to yield to allow others to pass. These laws are most relevant when two people get to an intersection at the same time or when a driver is turning in front of oncoming traffic. 

Right-of-Way Rules in Arizona

Right-of-way rules vary based on the type of intersection. There are both controlled and uncontrolled intersections in Phoenix. A controlled intersection has a traffic light, stop sign, or yield sign. An uncontrolled intersection has no lights or signs, or it has a light that isn’t functioning. 

Here are the right-of-way rules for different types of Arizona intersections: 

  • Intersections with working traffic lights. In these situations, drivers must obey the signals from the light. Turning drivers should yield to oncoming traffic unless there is a dedicated turn signal. If the lights are blinking red, they should be treated as a stop sign. If the lights are blinking yellow, they should be treated as a yield sign. 
  • Intersections with signs. Drivers must comply with the instructions on signs to either stop or yield. If multiple drivers are at a stop sign, the driver that arrived first has the right-of-way. When multiple drivers arrive at the same time, the driver on the right has the right-of-way. 
  • Uncontrolled intersections. Drivers should treat intersections with no traffic lights or signs as a four-way stop. Drivers should act as if each road to the intersection has a stop sign and follow stop-sign right-of-way rules. 

Understanding the right-of-way laws can help you be prepared for what to expect on the road. 

When Do Drivers Yield the Right-of-Way to Pedestrians?

Whenever a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or crossing with a light at an intersection, drivers should yield and allow the pedestrian to cross. When approaching a pedestrian crosswalk or intersection, drivers should slow down in case a pedestrian steps out. 

Outside of crosswalks or intersections, pedestrians should yield to cars, motorcycles, or bicyclists. That said, always slow down when approaching a pedestrian, and if a pedestrian is in the street, allow them to safely cross. 

When Do Drivers Yield the Right-of-Way to Cyclists?

Generally, bicyclists and motorcyclists must obey the same Arizona traffic laws that cars and trucks obey. This means that cyclists should follow the same right-of-way rules that other drivers follow. 

That said, cyclists often don’t know this or choose not to follow right-of-way rules. Because of this reality, Arizona drivers need to be aware of cyclists on the road and drive defensively. Even if you should have the right-of-way, be prepared to yield or stop to avoid an accident and ensure the safety of others on the road. 

A Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your Right-of-Way Collision 

To learn more about Arizona traffic laws or to discuss your accident, contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will analyze your case and discuss your rights. Next, your lawyer will investigate your accident to determine who is liable and gather evidence to support your case. Contact our Phoenix car accident attorneys at Curiel & Runion Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

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