Tens of thousands of car accidents in Texas every year are caused by drivers who fail to yield right of way.
State statistics show that drivers’ failure to yield the right of way while turning left caused more than 26,000 car crashes across Texas in 2020. The failure to yield at a stop sign caused more than 23,000 crashes. There were 306 fatal car accidents in Texas in 2020 caused by a driver’s failure to yield, the TX Department of Transportation says.
When a motorist fails to yield to an oncoming motor vehicle that has the right of way, then a collision is almost inevitable. If you’ve been injured because of another driver’s negligence, the accident doctor can help you
What Does It Mean to Yield The Right of Way When Driving?
Drivers are required to drive in a reasonably safe manner and obey traffic signs and signals. “Right of way” refers to who has the legal right to go first on the road. Laws and signals dictate who has the right of way. The requirement to yield when another driver has the right of way is necessary for traffic to flow safely.
The Texas Driver Handbook devotes Chapter 4 to “Right-of-Way.” It says:
At times, a driver must yield to others. There are certain rules to help determine who has the right-of-way; however, if the other driver doesn’t follow these rules, give him/her the right-of-way. Remember, in every situation, right-of-way is something given, not taken. All drivers should know and understand the laws that determine who has the right-of-way.
As drivers, we must know when to yield the right of way:
- At intersections. If a sign or signal controls traffic at an intersection, knowing when to yield is as simple as obeying the sign or signal. When there are no signs or signals, yield right of way to any vehicle to your right. When a single- or two-lane road intersects with a multi-lane road, traffic on the single- or two-lane road yields right of way to traffic on the bigger highway. When an unpaved road intersects with a paved road, the driver on the dirt or gravel road must yield the right of way to vehicles on the paved road.
- At T-intersections. If you are traveling on a street that ends at an intersection with another street where you can turn right or left, you must stop and yield the right of way to vehicles on the through street.
- When turning left. Any time you are turning left across oncoming lanes of traffic, you must yield to oncoming vehicles.
- When leaving a driveway, parking lot, or private road. As you enter or cross a road from a private road, alley, parking garage, driveway, etc., you must stop and yield the right-of-way to all approaching vehicles.
There are additional rules for yielding right of way when entering and exiting interstates, and at railroad crossings. There are also requirements to yield to emergency response vehicles, stopped school buses, and pedestrians. There are times when pedestrians are expected to yield right of way to motor vehicles.
Penalties for Failure to Yield Right of Way
A driver who causes bodily injury to someone by failing to yield right of way to another vehicle may be fined $500 to $2,000. If a failure to yield ROW leads to serious bodily injury, the fine can be $1,000 to $4,000. On a second or subsequent conviction within five years, the driver may face a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 and possible suspension of his or her driver’s license for up to six months.
Failure to yield the right of way to a school bus may be punished by a fine of $500 to $1,250 on a first offense. Causing serious bodily injury by failing to yield right of way to school bus passengers is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or one year in jail. A subsequent conviction for passing a school bus and causing serious bodily injury is a felony punishable by 180 days to 2 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, a driver who fails to yield and causes injuries may be held accountable by those injured. An injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation from the at-fault driver for the cost of medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
What to Do After a Car Accident Caused by Failure to Yield Right of Way
If you are able to at the accident scene, get photos that show what happened, especially any shot that illustrates how the driver ran a stop sign or otherwise failed to yield. Ask police when you can get a copy of their accident report. It may show a failure-to-yield charge.
It is important to see a doctor about your injuries within about 24 hours of any car accident. A prompt doctor’s exam ensures you get the care you need, including for serious injuries that don’t always exhibit symptoms right away. Medical care also establishes a record of your injury from the car accident.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver who failed to yield the right of way in Dallas, you may be eligible to seek restitution for your medical bills and other losses, including your pain and suffering. You should contact a personal injury lawyer for a free case review. You can meet with a car accident personal injury attorney to discuss your potential injury claim.
If you have a case for compensation, experienced attorneys, can gather evidence of the driver’s liability and make an accounting of your costs and losses. We’ll present your demand for full compensation to the responsible insurance company. If the insurer does not agree to a reasonable settlement, we can file a formal lawsuit on your behalf and press for maximum compensation for you in court.
We offer both work conditioning and hardening programs to return your independence as soon as possible. If you need help getting back to work after an on-the-job injury, contact the “accident doctor” doctors by requesting an appointment online or calling 210-342-2777 today.