Failure to Yield Car Accidents
According to the Insurance Information Institute, failure to yield the right of way was the primary factor in 3,726 fatal accidents during a recent year, accounting for more than 7 percent of fatal crashes.
Every driver must yield the right-of-way to others in certain situations. Unfortunately, some drivers take to the road with the attitude that they have the right-of-way no matter what. These negligent drivers frequently cause accidents by failing to yield to others who are exercising their legal right-of-way.
Failure to yield accidents often result in catastrophic damage and serious injuries because they tend to occur at high speeds and dangerous angles. If you were injured in a Texas right-of-way accident, you have the right to demand compensation for your losses.
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™, our relentless car accident lawyers have years of experience serving Houston accident victims, including those injured in failure to yield crashes. To learn more about causes of car accidents and whether you could be entitled to compensation, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ for a free consultation.
Common Failure to Yield Violations in Car Accidents
Every failure to yield accident is different, but the following right-of-way violations commonly lead to serious car accidents in Texas:
- Failure to yield when turning left – When drivers make left-hand turns at intersections or from one road onto another, it’s important for them to yield the right-of-way to avoid dangerous collisions. Others who are within the intersection, approaching the intersection, or close enough to pose an immediate hazard have the legal right-of-way. Failure to yield when turning left can easily lead to devastating T-bone or head-on collisions.
- Failure to yield at stop or yield signs – When approaching a stop sign, drivers are expected to come to a stop and observe the intersecting roadway before proceeding. At stop signs, drivers should stop and yield to pedestrians and any other vehicles that arrived at the intersection first. If two vehicles arrive at an intersection with multiple stop signs, drivers should yield to those on their right-hand sides. At yield signs, drivers must yield to any oncoming vehicles.
- Failure to yield at roundabouts – Roundabouts are circular intersections without standard traffic signs or signals. When drivers approach roundabouts, they are expected to slow down or stop and yield to vehicles within the roundabout. After entering the roundabout, a driver enjoys the right of way until they exit. Because roundabouts are less common in the States, accidents sometimes occur when drivers mistakenly slow down or stop inside the circle.
- Failure to yield at traffic lights and intersections – Even with modern traffic control devices, intersections can be incredibly dangerous. Drivers who fail to yield at lights or unmarked intersections are frequently involved in accidents with others crossing the road. Even if a driver has a green light, it’s always important to check all directions for oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding through an intersection.
- Failure to yield before merging – Drivers who merge from one lane to another when entering an interstate or highway must be especially careful to yield to fast-moving vehicles in the new lane. In some cases, this may mean making speed adjustments or waiting patiently for traffic to clear up. Failure to yield before merging on busy roads frequently results in sideswipe, rear-end, and blindspot accidents.
- Failure to yield to emergency vehicles – Active emergency vehicles with lights and sirens blaring always have the right of way. When drivers encounter these vehicles, they should immediately move off to a safe location on the side of the road and stop to allow the emergency vehicle to proceed. It’s important to remember not to block intersections or endanger others on the road when yielding to emergency vehicles.
Texas Law on Failure to Yield
So, what does yield mean in driving? What is failure to yield? What is the penalty for failure to yield resulting in an accident? Fortunately, the Texas Transportation Code provides clear information to answer these common questions.
There are a variety of laws in the Texas Transportation Code that describe when a driver should yield the right-of-way and the penalties drivers face for failure to yield, including:
- Section 544.010 – Requires drivers to stop at stop signs, stop lines, and yield signs before entering crosswalks or intersections, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or traffic control signal operator.
- Section 545.153 – Directs drivers stopped at intersections to yield the right-of-way to vehicles within or approaching the intersection. Drivers who are involved in collisions after passing through yield signs without stopping are presumed guilty of failure to yield the right-of-way.
- Section 545.152 – Requires drivers to yield the right-of-way when turning left at intersections, into alleys, or onto private roads or driveways. Drivers should yield to vehicles within intersections or approaching from the opposite direction.
- Section 545.156 – Requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles using audio and visual emergency signals. Drivers are expected to yield by moving to a safe location on the right-hand side of the road as soon as possible and remaining in place until the emergency vehicle has passed.
When drivers are involved in traffic accidents after neglecting to yield the right-of-way, their failure to yield may be enough evidence to consider them at fault for the crash. In Texas, at-fault drivers are financially responsible for any injuries or property damage they cause in an accident.
Criminal penalties for failing to yield can be severe even when accidents do not occur. Breaking right-of-way laws in Texas can result in punishments such as traffic tickets, substantial fines, points against a driver’s license, and increased insurance rates.
How to Determine Who’s At Fault in a Failure to Yield Accident
After a failure to yield accident, victims need to determine who was at fault so they can pursue the compensation they need to recover. However, at-fault drivers typically do not admit when they are to blame.
In most cases, victims work with attorneys and investigators to identify evidence that can demonstrate who should be held responsible for the crash. Common types of useful evidence in right-of-way accidents include:
- Photos of skid marks, damage, and debris at the accident scene
- Video footage from nearby traffic or security cameras
- Statements from vehicle occupants and eyewitnesses
- Police accident reports and officer statements
- Testimony from experts like accident reconstruction specialists
- Cell phone or GPS records from the other driver
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Houston
From the moment you decide to work with The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™, you become a part of our family. We will treat you with the same care, respect, and individualized attention we would show our own family members. This means a commitment to transparent communication and the drive to aggressively pursue the outcome that is best for your unique situation.
Our dedicated staff is available anytime, 24/7 to answer your questions and discuss your legal options. Contact us today for help with your Houston right-of-way accident claim.