Car accidents can happen in the Miami area for many reasons. Often, they’re the result of negligence.
Failure to yield the right of way is one form of negligence that may cause a Miami car accident. However, you also might not fully understand what yielding the right of way involves.
It’s wise to familiarize yourself with this topic. Knowing how to yield the right of way can help you avoid accidents. You may also be more likely to recognize when you’ve been harmed because someone failed to yield the right of way. This can help you determine whether you have grounds to seek compensation for an accident.
Yielding the Right of Way: What You Need to Know
“Right-of-way” actually has two legal definitions. In some cases, it can refer to the right to pass over someone’s property.
This overview will focus on the other definition that applies to traffic law. In traffic law, a driver has the right of way when they have the legal right to proceed.
Different states have different laws regarding when a driver does and doesn’t have the right of way. For example, Florida’s right of way laws require drivers to stop at clearly marked lines when approaching intersections with stop signs. If an intersection doesn’t have a stop sign, a driver must stop before entering the crosswalk at the intersection’s near side. If no crosswalk is present, Florida law requires drivers to stop at the nearest point to the intersection that allows them to check for approaching traffic.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way: Common Examples
The following examples will help you better understand what failing to yield the right of way may involve:
- A driver stops at an intersection with four stop signs. They proceed through the intersection despite another driver arriving and stopping at another one of the stop signs before them.
- A driver proceeds through a crosswalk despite a pedestrian using or closely approaching said crosswalk.
- Two drivers arrive at an intersection at the same time. In this situation, a driver should yield to the driver on the right. They may cause an accident if they fail to do so.
- A driver is turning left at an intersection or onto a private road. They fail to yield the right of way to approaching traffic.
- A driver fails to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic when entering a public road that isn’t controlled by a traffic device.
- A driver doesn’t slow down to a reasonable degree when approaching a yield sign.
Police may issue tickets to Florida drivers who they observe failing to yield the right of way. This is true whether a driver causes an accident or not.
How Failing to Yield the Right of Way Can Cause Accidents in Miami
The severity of an accident resulting from failure to yield the right of way can vary depending on a range of factors. Sometimes, accidents resulting from failure to yield the right of way are minor.
However, that’s not always the case. For example, perhaps a driver is turning left onto a road. Another driver is approaching them. Unless the driver can make the left turn without any risk of a collision, they must wait for the driver to pass them before turning.
Sometimes, drivers don’t wait. If a driver makes a left turn instead of yielding the right of way to an approaching driver, the oncoming driver may not be able to stop in time to prevent a collision. Depending on their rate of speed, the size of their vehicle, and other such factors, this accident can result in major injury or even death.
If you fail to yield the right away and cause an accident, you could be liable for injury victims’ medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Alternatively, failure to yield the right away could reduce the compensation you receive from an accident that is not your fault (this is known as Florida’s comparative fault rule).
Such accidents are easily avoidable. By understanding when you must yield the right of way, you’re much less likely to be harmed in a Miami car accident.
That said, it’s important to exercise caution behind the wheel. You may have every intention of properly yielding the right of way when driving. That doesn’t mean you can trust other drivers to do the same.