Right-of-Way Laws in Maryland
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Aug 21, 2017 in Car Accidents
Every day, drivers encounter situations in which they must give up the right of way to another motorist to avoid causing a collision. Unfortunately, drivers do not always give up the right of way when they are supposed to.
Because of this, failure-to-yield car accidents are common throughout Maryland and the U.S. They can also be contentious cases to handle because each party may attempt to argue that he or she had the right of way.
As experienced legal professionals, the trusted Silver Spring auto accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are familiar with the many laws that apply to these types of car accidents and can advise you of your legal options. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.
Maryland Traffic Rules
Maryland’s traffic laws exist to help traffic move smoothly and without issue by providing guidance on how motorists should handle traffic situations where other vehicles or pedestrians are present. For this reason, it is important that motorists understand the right-of-way laws that could apply to various situations.
Although the Maryland Driver’s Manual provided by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration outlines when drivers should yield the right of way, it also states that no driver should assume he or she automatically has the right of way. The situation and circumstances at the intersection should always be considered, and ultimately, every driver is responsible for controlling his or her own vehicle to avoid a collision.
The manual provides guidelines on the following situations:
Intersections occur where two roads meet. They can be controlled by stop signs, yield signs or a stop light. In Maryland, drivers at intersections must yield the right of way to:
- The driver who is at the intersection when you arrive or who arrives before you
- The driver on your right if both vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time
- The driver on your right at a four-way stop controlled by stop signs
- Other vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists who are already in the intersection
If you are attempting to make a left turn at an intersection, you must yield the right of way to traffic in the opposing lane.
Not all intersections have four stops, however. In these scenarios, you should yield the right of way to:
- Other vehicles if you have a yield sign
- Vehicles on a public road if you are entering from a private driveway or road
- Vehicles on a road if you are entering at a “T” intersection
Highways and Interstates
If you are attempting to enter a limited access highway or interstate from the entrance ramp, you should yield the right of way to other vehicles already traveling on the highway.
U-turns can be very dangerous if the driver attempting to make the U-turn does not properly yield the right of way. The manual states, where legal, that motorists should complete a U-turn by turning on their left blinker, coming to a complete stop and yielding to approaching traffic. Once the right of way is clear, the vehicle can make the turn into the opposite lanes.
Because pedestrians lack the protections of a vehicle, there are several laws and rules in place to help protect them. According to the Driver’s Manual, pedestrians have the right of way at street crossings, including intersections where a crosswalk is or is not marked. Both pedestrians and motorists must obey all traffic signals.
Maryland law states that:
- Drivers must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk
- It is illegal to pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk
- Vehicles attempting to turn left on a green light must yield to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk
- Vehicles must come to a stop before entering the crosswalk at a red light
- Drivers who can legally make a right turn with a red light must yield to pedestrians
Contact Our Attorneys After a Failure-to-Yield Accident
Although these right-of-way laws are important for safely sharing the road with all motorists and pedestrians, they are not always followed. This can lead to an auto accident resulting in serious injuries.
If you believe your accident and injuries were caused by a driver’s failure to yield the right of way, you may have legal options. Contact our Silver Spring auto accident lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation to review your legal rights.
We are well-versed in Maryland’s traffic laws and can help you determine if your accident was caused by another driver’s failure to follow the rules of the road. If it was, we will work to help you get the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact Goldberg Finnegan today for a free, no obligation consultation. We do not charge any legal fees unless we obtain compensation for you.