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What Does Yielding the Right of Way Mean?

You likely heard the phrase “yield the right of way” long before you received your driver’s license, but what does it mean?

For some people, yielding the right of way means obeying all traffic laws and driving in a safe and responsible manner at an intersection. However, there’s more to the obligation to yield that’s crucial for every driver to know.

Unfortunately, failure to yield is one of the most common causes of car accidents. For your safety and the safety of other motorists around you, this article will delve into what yielding the right of way means and how to do it safely and efficiently.

Yielding the Right of Way: What It Means and How to Do It Safely

Rather than solely applying at an intersection, yielding the right of way extends to every facet of driving. It applies whether you are in a rural area or a metropolis. Simply put, yielding the right of way means allowing the vehicle that has the right of way to make a move before you do.

When it comes to properly yielding, there are two primary reasons why understanding how to yield correctly is crucial to your physical and financial security.

Traffic Tickets

No matter where you are driving, failure to yield is a traffic offense. This means if you violate right-of-way laws at a stop sign or intersection, you could potentially receive a ticket. Additionally, if you approach a malfunctioning traffic light, you are expected to follow proper right-of-way protocol. Failure to do so could result in a ticket.

Traffic Accidents

Even worse than a ticket, failure to yield the right of way could result in a car accident. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how bad the damage might be; accidents involving an individual’s failure to yield range in severity. One party’s failure to yield might result in a minor fender bender, or it could cause a serious collision.

If the accident involves a truck, a pedestrian, or high speeds, the result could be fatal. This could leave one party with a wrongful death suit, extensive medical bills, or both. That’s why it’s crucial to understand when you have the right of way and when you don’t. When you don’t have it, you need to yield to those who do.

Right-of-Way Laws in the State of Texas

If you reside in Texas, you should know that the state has its own statutes concerning the right of way, specifically as it applies to intersections and emergency vehicles.


If you approach an intersection in the state of Texas, you must yield to all vehicles that arrived at the intersection prior to you. If two or more vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right of way. If you are turning right, the right of way belongs to continuing traffic. When you turn left, you must yield to oncoming traffic.

Emergency Vehicles

No matter where you are on the road, if you see an emergency vehicle approaching with its lights flashing, you must yield the right of way to that vehicle. This applies to police vehicles, ambulances, and fire trucks.

How to Safely Determine the Right of Way

Here are some tips on how to safely determine the right of way.

  • Always Follow Directions Imposed by Traffic Signage. Stop signs and traffic lights are present for a reason. If they indicate that you need to stop, then you must obey what they say.
  • Yielding in Uncontrolled Intersections. When you approach an uncontrolled intersection, you must yield to any vehicles already in the intersection.
  • Exiting the Highway. On highway exit ramps, drivers on the access road must yield to cars already on the exit ramp.

Now that you know what yielding the right of way entails, you’re ready to drive safely. However, even if you yield the right of way perfectly, you can’t stop other people from driving carelessly.

If you were in a car accident because a driver failed to yield, you have rights. Contact FVF Law to schedule a free consultation to learn about your options for pursuing compensation after your collision.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Austin, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Austin and need legal help, contact our Austin car accident lawyers at FVF Law to schedule a free consultation with our team.

3101 Bee Caves Rd #301
Austin, TX 78746
United States
(512) 982-9328



Fogelman & Von Flatern is a personal injury law firm that believes it matters why we practice law: to make sure good people in unfair circumstances who want reasonable options are taken seriously, especially by their attorney. We value transparency, compassion, and justice, and we strive to embody that in our practice. At FVF, you can trust that you've got the best people on your case, for the right reasons.

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