Some of the most common car accidents in Texas are caused by right of way violations. Car, truck and motorcycle drivers who don't understand (or choose to follow) our road rules pose a serious danger to themselves and others and can easily cause accidents at stop signs, in parking lots and on on-ramps. Here, we'll cover the Texas laws on a few of the most common right of way rules.
No One Actually Has the Right of Way
In Texas, the law doesn't specifically allow anyone the right of way. Instead, it notes who must yield. For this reason, you should never insist on taking the right of way - if another driver doesn't yield when they're supposed to, let them go. You'll prevent and accident and lots of unnecessary pain.
Who Has the Right of Way at a Four Way Stop in Texas?
When you come to a stop at a four way stop, the car who got their first has the right of way. If you get there at the same time as another car, the vehicle on the right has the right of way. If traffic is heavy and all four lanes of the intersection are full, traffic typically moves in turns in a counterclockwise direction.
Pay attention at all four way intersections - sometimes, two lanes will have a stop sign but the other two won't. If that's the case, cars with a stop sign must wait until ALL other traffic has cleared before going.
Who Has the Right of Way in a Parking Lot in Texas?
Parking lots have two main kinds of lanes: thoroughfares and feeder lanes. A thoroughfare is a lane that exits to a street. A feeder lane are the smaller lanes inside a parking lot. If you're driving on a thoroughfare (typically the longer and wider lanes in a lot), you have the right of way. Parking lots don't often have stop signs to direct traffic, but if you're coming out of a feeder lane (typically the ones that lead cars to their parking spots), you must yield to cars on the thoroughfare.
Anyone who's backing out of a parking space must yield to those driving through the lane.
Pedestrians always have the right of way in a parking lot. For more on that, see our article on Texas pedestrian injury laws.
What Happens If You Get into a Right of Way Violation Wreck?
These kinds of accidents are treated the same as all other accidents: get the other driver's insurance company, take pictures of the damage, call 911 (even if no one's hurt - you need the police report), and assess your own injuries.
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