What Does Yielding the Right of Way Mean in Pennsylvania?

Yielding to a driver who has the right of way helps prevent traffic accidents and citations. Whether it’s another car or a pedestrian, knowing when you can proceed and when you need to stop and let someone else go keeps everyone safe.

Failure to yield has caused many car accidents in York, PA. If you don’t know when you need to yield, you could end up causing an accident, hurting others, and getting into possible legal trouble.

What Does It Mean to Yield the Right of Way?

“Right of way” doesn’t just apply to a controlled intersection, where there are stoplights or a stop sign to dictate who goes and who stops. There’s a right of way rule for every type of intersection, from a dead-end rural road to merging onto a major highway.

You can get a ticket if you disregard the posted instructions, including stoplights, stop signs, and yield signs. Even at an intersection without signals or signs, you can still receive a ticket if you fail to yield the right of way

If a driver disregards the right of way and keeps going or doesn’t stop, they can easily hit someone, either another driver or someone crossing the road, through their failure to yield.

How Can I Determine a Right of Way?

Several guidelines determine who has the right of way. If you’re approaching a controlled intersection with traffic lights or stop signs, obey the posted signal. If you’re approaching an intersection without controlled signage, then yield to cars already stopped at the intersection. If you arrive at an intersection at the same time as another car, then the right of way goes to the vehicle on the right.

If you need to make a left-hand turn, you must yield to oncoming traffic until it is safe to turn. 

If you approach an intersection with multiple-lane roads, such as a single-lane road merging into a multi-lane road, then you must yield to all drivers on the multi-lane road.

If you’re at a T-intersection, with one road dead-ending into a through road in a T shape, then the driver facing the dead-end yields to the vehicles on the through road.

When exiting a highway using an off-ramp, you have the right-of-way for the access road. Even if the traffic leaving the highway goes into a separate lane, the drivers on the access road still need to yield to it.

In traffic circles (roundabouts), vehicles in the traffic circle have the right of way. Once you enter the roundabout, you will have the right of way. 

Pedestrians in a crosswalk and blind pedestrians using a white cane or seeing-eye dog have the right of way when crossing the street.

If an emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals approaches, you must yield the right of way and pull over to the right. You should remain there until the vehicle has passed. You should also yield the right of way to construction workers or vehicles working on a highway, which should be evident by warning signs or vehicles with flashing lights. 

Note that making eye contact with another driver or pedestrian doesn’t mean you’re yielding a right of way. Drivers will often stop and wave a pedestrian to cross safely. But as a driver, never assume that a pedestrian will wait for you to wave them across. Always assume they’ll walk in front of you, just to be on the safe side.

Driving Defensively

Even if you know that you have the right of way or that you have the right to merge into another lane safely, that doesn’t mean that other drivers are as aware. When driving, if another car is clearly not yielding the right of way, even if it’s legally your turn to go, stay put. Don’t risk getting into an accident simply because you have the right to go.

If you’ve been involved in an accident, the police report will establish who is to blame based partly on whether the parties involved had the right to merge or go through an intersection. Stay safe by following the rules of the road and using common sense.

If you’ve been injured in Pennsylvania, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 955-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
(717) 995-8963