Missouri Right of Way Laws
Posted in Car Accidents on November 23, 2020
Following the right of way is very important when driving. These laws help direct the flow of traffic and prevent accidents in otherwise uncertain situations, such as four-way intersections and unmarked crosswalks. If someone fails to yield the right of way and injures another person, he or she may be liable for the victim’s damages — and if you suffer an injury due to another driver’s actions, you have legal options available to you.
Honoring the Right of Way in Missouri
Missouri has strict traffic laws regarding the right of way, especially at intersections. These rules can be summarized as follows.
- When you enter a four-way stop intersection, the first driver to reach the intersection is the first one to proceed.
- If there is a pedestrian crossing the road legally, you must yield to him or her. You must also yield the right of way to pedestrians when exiting or entering an alley, driveway, or parking lot, or crossing a sidewalk.
- If you are turning left, you must yield the right of way to vehicles traveling straight. If you enter the road from a driveway, alley, or the side of the road, you must also yield to traffic in the roadway.
- If you approach an intersection without any traffic signals or stop signs, you must yield the right of way to drivers coming from the right.
- If you are at a roundabout, you must yield to pedestrians and traffic already in the circle.
Failure to yield the right of way can result in administrative and legal consequences. You will receive two demerit points on your driver’s license, and you will need to pay a small fine. You may also face suspension or revocation of your license.
Right of Way for Pedestrians and Emergency Vehicles
There are special right of way rules when it comes to emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks. If you are driving and see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching and the vehicle has its sirens on and lights flashing, you must yield the right of way. You will need to pull over to the right and allow the vehicle to pass or stop at an intersection until the vehicle leaves the area. If you are already in an intersection when the vehicle is approaching, proceed through the intersection, pull over as soon as possible, and remain stopped until the vehicle passes you.
It is also important to be aware of pedestrians and their rights and responsibilities. Pedestrians often have the right of way when crossing at legal intersections, but a pedestrian cannot cross if he or she is in violation of the law. Blind pedestrians who have a guide dog or a white cane with a red tip always have the right of way, no matter the situation.
For example, if you are at an intersection and have a green light, but a pedestrian crosses in front of you while he or she has a red light, that pedestrian is violating the law. The pedestrian may face penalties for a failure to yield. However, you cannot proceed, even if the pedestrian is in the wrong. You need to wait until he or she crosses the intersection. If the pedestrian is blind, he or she has the right of way regardless.
What to Do After a Right of Way Accident
Even if you do adhere to the right of way, other drivers may ignore these rules. If you are in a collision with a driver who failed to yield the right of way, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. You should also seek medical attention immediately and save all pieces of evidence related to the accident. Once you receive treatment, contact a Kansas City car accident attorney to discuss your legal options.