Every year, hundreds and even thousands of individuals are injured in car accidents at intersections. While many of these accidents involve cars colliding with other vehicles, in some cases the accident is between a car and a pedestrian

Tragically, pedestrian deaths as a result of such accidents are on the rise. In 2017 nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in car accidents and another 137,000 were injured. What is even more troubling is that many of these accidents, injuries, and deaths could have been avoided if drivers would have followed their state’s basic right of way laws.

In Georgia, like most states, the laws related to yielding the right of way are easy to find and easy to follow. While there might be a number of different scenarios you need to be prepared for, with a little extra effort, you should be able to brush up on your understanding of what it means to yield the right of way in each of them.

Georgia’s Right of Way Regulations

The term right of way is used to describe which vehicle (or pedestrian) has permission to enter a roadway, change their lane, turn, or perform several other functions where signage or stop lights aren’t present. These rules of the road are designed to prevent collisions and keep everyone safe.

In Georgia, some of the most common right of way regulations include:

  • Drivers must yield to pedestrians that are crossing the road if they are at a four-way stop or if they are at a clearly marked crosswalk.
  • If two or more vehicles come to an intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
  • If an emergency vehicle is trying to pass and has its lights flashing, drivers are required to move to the side of the road safely and let the emergency vehicle pass them.

Many of the above rules are common sense and many remember them from their driver’s ed training. However, just because someone remembers them doesn’t mean they always obey them. It is important each and every driver obey the above rules of the road to avoid collisions and injuries.

Additionally, there are other right of way rules that some drivers might not remember. These regulations are a bit rarer and more obscure. Still, they are the rules of the road and it is important that each driver know and follow them.

These rules include:

  • Drivers must yield to all road construction vehicles and road construction workers.
  • It is permissible to turn left on a red light if in the left lane of a one-way road and turning onto another one-way road. However, drivers still need to yield to pedestrians before making the turn.

It is also worth mentioning that while many of the right of way laws in Georgia are designed to keep drivers and pedestrians safe, they only work if everyone follows them. This can be as true for pedestrians as it is for drivers. 

When attempting to cross a road on foot, it is important for pedestrians to do so only at designated crosswalks and when they have a green light if at an intersection with stop lights.

Why You Should Follow All Right of Way Laws

Obviously, the most important reason to follow all of Georgia’s right of way laws is so that everyone on the road can stay safe. You also want to follow the rules of the road so you don’t get ticketed and have to pay pesky fines.

There is, however, a third reason you should follow the right of way laws in Georgia: liability. If you fail to give the right of way to a vehicle who, by law, has the right of way, and an accident ensues, you could be found at-fault and liable for property damage and injuries. 

And, if you are injured in the accident you could be prevented from receiving compensation to help you cover the costs related to those injuries.

What to Do if in an Accident at an Atlanta Intersection

If you are in an accident where another driver fails to yield the right of way when they are required to by law, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. A good personal injury lawyer will know how to analyze your case and help maximize the money you can receive to cover the damages and injuries you have suffered.