Signs and signals on roads guide, inform and instruct drivers and pedestrians about the rules to be followed on the particular roadway. For example, the signals placed at an intersection guide vehicles to stop or go, and tells pedestrians when to cross the intersection. Signs like silence zone signs, signs that indicate playing children, speed limit signs, etc., all are essential to keep the busy roads free of accidents.
However, some roads do not have any signs or signals. In such cases, how do pedestrians and vehicles maintain road discipline and avoid accidents?
According to our St. Louis car accident lawyer, right-of-way laws are standard laws that come into play when there are no signs and signals to keep traffic in check. The right-of-way laws indicate who should yield the right of way.
The right-of-way laws in Missouri help maintain on-road safety as these laws are founded in common sense, enabling pedestrians as well as motorists to safely use roads and prevent accidents.
Intersections on roads are perhaps the busiest as well as the most likely areas to witness accidents. Therefore adhering to the right-of-way laws becomes essential for all motorists as well as pedestrians. The intersection right-of-way laws are –
- When pedestrians are crossing the road, especially on a zebra crossing or when the pedestrians signal is on, drivers must yield.
- Moreover, if motorists are crossing a sidewalk, exiting or entering an alley, parking area or driveway, they must yield to pedestrians.
- Vehicles that intend to turn left should yield right-of-way to vehicles driving straight.
- At a four-way intersection, the first driver to reach the intersections goes first.
- Motorists that are entering a roadway from an alley, parking, roadside or a driveway should yield to those vehicles already on the road.
- Motorists should give right-of-way to vehicles approaching from the right side on intersections that have no signs or signals.
- A roundabout is an exception to the above rule and motorists in a roundabout should yield to pedestrians and vehicles already in the circle.
Sometimes, even pedestrians are required to legally yield to motorists. For example, if a pedestrian crosses an intersection when a vehicle is approaching the intersection on a green light, the pedestrian is in violation of the right-of-way law. However, motorists should note that even if the pedestrian has violated the law, it is the motorist who should yield the right-of-way.
A blind pedestrian always has the right-of-way. A blind pedestrian can be identified by the presence of a guide dog, or carrying a white cane with a red tip.
- An emergency vehicle with a sounding horn, siren and flashing lights always has the right of way.
- Motorists on an intersection should proceed, pull over and park on the side to let an emergency vehicle pass through.
- In Missouri, it is mandatory for vehicles to yield the right-of-way to a funeral procession. Moreover, a funeral procession has the right-of-way regardless of the sign or signal. However, they have to yield to an emergency vehicle.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, get in touch with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. - Call us 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.