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Traffic signal for crosswalk showing right of way for pedestrians

Who Has the Right-of-Way at Texas Intersections?

In order for a person to practice safe driving, it is important to thoroughly understand the regulations and laws that govern the road. While this may sound like common sense, drivers regularly make simple errors that cause accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or even death. One of the most common errors Texas drivers make is failing to yield the proper right-of-way, especially at intersections such as four-way stops. By taking a deeper dive into a seemingly simple traffic rule, drivers can help keep the roads safe for all who share them.

What is the Right-of-Way?

The phrase “yield to the right of way” refers to the manner in which a driver yields (gives up) their “turn” (typically at an intersection) to another driver, pedestrian, or cyclist. As you can imagine, when drivers are unclear as to who should proceed through an intersection or turn, serious collisions can occur. Drivers should always yield and give pedestrians the right of way, even if a crosswalk is unmarked. Pedestrians have the legal right to cross at a green light even if there is not a metered walking sign present.

Drivers can avoid costly collisions by practicing the following every time they arrive at an intersection:

  • When at an unmetered intersection, yield to traffic already in the intersection and to the driver’s right
  • When turning left, always yield to oncoming traffic, through traffic, and pedestrians
  • When turning right, always yield to through traffic and pedestrians
  • If a driver approaches an intersection where a pedestrian is present, but the light has turned red, the driver must yield to the pedestrian until they have safely crossed
  • If a driver approaches an intersection from a driveway, parking lot, alley, or private road, the driver should always yield to the main road’s flow of traffic
  • If a driver is traveling on an unpaved road and approaches a paved road, the driver must yield to the traffic on the paved road
  • Drivers should always yield to trains at railroad crossings

Tips for Pedestrians

Pedestrians cannot always rely on other drivers to practice safe driving habits. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), pedestrians should observe the following practices:

  • Pedestrians should always attempt to cross a road at an intersection
  • Pedestrians should always look left and right before attempting to cross a road
  • Pedestrians should look for traffic when exiting a vehicle
  • As a passenger, pedestrians should attempt to exit a vehicle curbside
  • Pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street

Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Drivers who follow traffic laws not only increase their own likelihood of arriving safely at their destination, but they are also doing their part to help keep roads safe for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists who lack the physical protections of motor vehicles. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the rules, and countless individuals are seriously injured or killed each year by negligent drivers. If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in an accident where the driver failed to yield to the right of way or in any other Houston car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to get started on your case consultation.

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Dax F. Garza
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