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Where 5 Common Right of Way Mistakes Occur

Yielding is a vital part of driving, yet many drivers struggle with knowing who has the right of way. Luckily, you can remedy these common mistakes by learning where they occur and how to avoid them. Read on to learn more about where you should yield to other drivers.

What is yielding?

To avoid making these common mistakes, you must understand what the terms mean. Yielding means letting other drivers go first since they have the right of way. Right of way refers to who has the legal right to drive first.

You need to slow down when you see a yield sign and let other people using the road go before you. The signs may vary in color and design, and there may be a painted yield line on the road instead. Regardless of the sign’s appearance, it’s crucial to slow down.

Here are some examples of when you would need to yield the right of way:

  • At a yield sign
  • To pedestrians
  • When vehicles are already in an intersection
  • When turning left without a green turn signal

Where Common Mistakes Occur

While we may encounter yield signs more often than we realize, it is still too easy to make mistakes. The critical thing to remember is that if you don’t know who has the right of way, let someone else go first. It is better to be cautious when yielding.

Four-Way Intersections

When approaching a four-way intersection, it’s critical to yield to the person who arrived at the intersection first. If more than one got there simultaneously, then the driver on the right would have the right of way.

Left-Hand Turns

Turning left is challenging at controlled and uncontrolled intersections since you must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. When at a controlled intersection, it’s safer to wait until you have a green turn signal, and at uncontrolled, it’s best to wait for traffic to recede.

Interstate On and Off Ramps

Driving on the interstates can become dangerous if drivers don’t yield. When attempting to merge onto the highway, yield to the traffic on the interstate. If you’re trying to get off the highway, yield to drivers already on the exit ramp.

Changing Lanes on the Interstate

You will need to yield to other drivers if you are trying to merge into a different lane. We tend to see merging accidents on the highway here in Atlanta, so make sure to turn on your indicator, yield to oncoming traffic, and match speed.

Emergency Vehicles

Whenever you see an emergency vehicle, you should always give them the right of way. This includes ambulances, firetrucks, and police cars. To provide first responders the right of way when driving, slow down and get off the road. If stopped, remain stopped until they pass.

Failure to Yield

It is crucial to yield. Never insist that you have the right of way – this could lead to severe or even fatal accidents. In 2019, 7.3% of all fatal crashes were caused by a driver’s failure to yield. Even if it might delay your arrival time, yielding will ensure that you arrive alive.

If you’ve been injured by someone’s failure to yield, calling an attorney is the best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Here at Greathouse Trial Law, we want to help you fight for your rights.

Contact us today at 678-310-2827 or complete our online form for your free case evaluation. We aim to serve Atlanta’s great people and give a voice to the voiceless.


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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only. It may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction.

No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other applicable licensing jurisdiction.


Greathouse Trial Law
260 Peachtree Street NW
Suite 803
Atlanta, GA 30303
(678) 310-2827

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Riah Greathouse, Esq.

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