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.
Common Cause for Yield Accidents: Cellphone Usage
As Fort Worth car accident injury attorneys, we know that distracted driving – and cellphone use while driving in particular – is a big cause of yielding collisions in the DFW area. Many of our injury clients suspect that the driver who caused their car wreck - and resulting personal injuries - was using their cellphone at the time of the accident – either texting or carrying on a conversation (whether hands-free or not).
While in most instances it is not illegal to be on the phone while driving around Fort Worth, it is certainly an indication that the other driver was not paying full attention to their driving duties. In these cases, we definitely want to find out if indeed our client’s suspicion is correct - that the other driver was on the phone. Unfortunately, until an injury lawsuit is filed by an experienced personal injury attorney, we are unable to access the information necessary to obtain that hard evidence which proves that the negligent driver was indeed using their cellphone to talk, text, play games or surf the web at the time the crash occurred.
Using Phone Records as Evidence
Once a lawsuit is filed, we always ask for defendant to produce their phone bill - which we compare with other evidence such as the 911 call to pinpoint the time of the accident and determine whether the other driver was on the phone. If the defendant is unwilling or unable to produce the phone records for the day in question, we then subpoena the records from the telephone service provider, such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T–Mobile. Once we get those phone records in from the service provider, we analyze it to see if they were talking on the phone at the time.
This also raises another question of whether they were talking on the phone using a hands–free device. In our opinion, hands–free device is much safer, even though it is still a form of distracted driving. Countless studies have shown that any form of cellphone use while driving takes precious attention away from the task of safely operating a motor vehicle – even hands-free use. There's nothing in these phone bills or records which would indicate whether the person was using a hands–free device. In deposition of the other driver, we always inquire as to the use of the phone, the hands–free device feature and other such questions regarding phone usage.
Contact the Anderson Law Firm Today
There can be a number of factors that influenced the other driver in hitting your car while yielding. At the Anderson Law Firm, we take the task of proving that the other driver was negligent by speeding, using their phone, drowsy driving, or another negligent activity that caused them to hit you while you were yielding. You deserve to be compensated for the wrong doings of another driver. We can win compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Call our law firm today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
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