In the state of New York, right-of-way laws determine which pedestrian or vehicle is permitted to move forward at what time and in what way. Drivers and pedestrians are required to know and understand these laws and put them into practice when navigating on public roads.
These laws are easy to understand, but unfortunately, not all drivers adhere to them at all times. When a driver has failed to yield to a pedestrian in NYC, resulting in an injury to the pedestrian, the pedestrian has the right to sue for just compensation. Naturally, this will require legal representation in order to ensure that just, fair, and complete compensation is obtained.
If you have been hurt in a right-of-way accident at no fault of your own, you require qualified legal representation to get the money you need for your injury and time off work. Our team of right-of-way accident legal professionals will get you the compensation you deserve.
Get in touch with NYC’s most reputable right-of-way accident attorneys by calling (516) 399-2364.
Alarming NHTSA Statistics on Failure to Yield The Right-of-Way Accidents
Between the years 1997 and 2004, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that one out of every five traffic fatalities in New York City occurred at intersections and involved a failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian.
During this time, there were an average of 3,000 fatalities each year resulting from accidents near stop signs and intersections. Of those, it was determined that 48% resulted after a driver failed to yield to a pedestrian in NYC.
The NHTSA has also determined that older drivers are more likely to be responsible for an accident of this kind. Just over 50% of all such stop sign-related accidents involved a driver aged 55 and older.
As you can see, these types of accidents and the statistics that surround them are well understood. This is good news for anyone who has been hurt in such an accident. It means that receiving the amount of compensation you deserve is a well-established legal process. Unfortunately, it still requires proper, qualified legal representation.
If you have been hurt in a failure-to-yield accident, our legal team of car accident advocates in staten island at Kaplan Lawyers, PC, is here for you. Your legal representative will navigate the legal system for you, file the right claims at the right time, and save you an enormous amount of time and stress.
Understanding Right-of-Way Laws in NYC
The laws governing who has the right-of-way are simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. All drivers are required to know the rules and demonstrate that they can obey them. The rules are designed to be easy to understand and adhere to. Here is a brief explanation, which we are sure you will find matches your understanding of how the right-of-way works.
- First come, first served: When two people arrive at an intersection, whoever comes to a complete stop first is meant to be the next to go. This rule stands whether it is a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or a driver. Pedestrians usually are considered to have the right-of-way technically simply because they are more vulnerable. But for general purposes, intersection traffic is meant to work like the teeth on a zipper. One goes, then the other. If two travelers arrive at the stopping point at the same time, the person to the right is considered to have the right-of-way.
- Avoid gridlock: No matter what, travelers are expected to avoid gridlock. This means not stopping inside the intersection, refraining from getting in other travelers’ ways as much as possible, and, in good faith, sharing the road with all other travelers.
- Rotaries: When inside a traffic circle, or rotary, drivers are expected to yield to those who are already inside the rotary. That is to say, drivers in the rotary have the right-of-way over drivers attempting to enter the rotary. Pedestrians using crosswalks around the rotary fit into that right-of-way category.
- T-intersections: A T-intersection is one where a through road and a terminated road meet. Sometimes the through road will not have a stop sign, and sometimes they will have one. Either way, the driver on the through road is considered to have the right-of-way when all other factors are equal.
- Uphill: On narrow roads and hills, the driver going uphill is considered to have the right-of-way. The driver headed downhill is expected to make way for the driver headed uphill.
- Emergencies: In an emergency situation, drivers are expected to pull over and yield to emergency vehicles. When the lights and sirens of an emergency vehicle are activated, the emergency vehicle always has the right-of-way. The reasons for this should be clear.
Pedestrians And Right-of-Way
Over one-quarter of all traffic deaths in New York City involve pedestrians. In the city, sadly, we see an overwhelming disregard for the right-of-way pedestrians have, and the results are consistently deadly. Each year, there are rarely fewer than 300 pedestrian deaths, with children and the elderly as the most vulnerable.
For these reasons, our traffic law attorneys fight aggressively for the survivors of failure to yield the right-of-way accidents. Unfortunately, this does not stop these kinds of accidents from taking place. But we will continue to defend the rights of victims and their families.
How to Avoid Right-of-Way Violations
The penalties for failure to yield the right-of-way are stiff. Considering the deadly reality pedestrians face every day in NYC, the severity of the punishments for failure to yield are quite reasonable. If you want to save yourself the fines, fees, points on your license, and increased cost of insurance, you’ll respect and obey these rules. They are as follows.
- Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians who are using either marked or unmarked crosswalks legally. Of course, and it’s unfortunate that this must be said, just because a pedestrian is not following the rules does not give a driver the right to threaten them with their vehicle. That kind of thing is frighteningly common.
- When a driver is stopped at a red light and a pedestrian walks in front of their car while the light turns green, the driver must not proceed until the pedestrian is safely out of the way. Again, it is sad that this must be said.
- When making a turn, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians when making either a right or left turn.
- When entering a road from a driveway, drivers must yield to drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, as well as all other travelers.
- Yield signs give the right of way to pedestrians walking through a crosswalk. Any time a driver passes a yield sign and hits a pedestrian, the accident will be automatically considered to be the driver’s fault regardless of any other circumstances.
Navigating Your Right-of-Way Traffic Case
Emotions run high with any case of this kind, especially when you are the injured party, and you know you had the right of way. Oftentimes, we must remind the people we represent as well as the defendants in these cases that no matter what, everyone’s duty on the road is to avoid collisions and conflict whenever possible.
Many times, we have seen drivers and pedestrians defend their right of way in blatant disregard for safety and even good sense. Pedestrians who have the right of way will sometimes put their own lives in jeopardy by defying an offending driver.
Naturally, we do not recommend betting on the law to protect you when the laws of nature are baring their teeth. But no matter what happens out there on the road, our dedicated and experienced team of right-of-way and traffic law lawyers are here to protect your rights.
When you have been hurt in a failure to yield the right-of-way accident, you will face medical bills and time off work, as well as emotional pain and suffering. As always, our mission is to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve to be made whole.
To learn more, get in touch with New York’s leading right-of-way attorneys today at (516) 399-2364.
Managing Attorney John. J. Tucker, Esq.
John has personally handled thousands of clients who were victims of another’s negligence and fights relentlessly for their rights. John enjoys bringing closure to a client’s matter so that the injured party can move forward with their life. His background enables him to evaluate complex liability related claims and bring resolution to claims in a record time frame. [ Attorney Bio ]