Louisiana’s right of way laws are in place to keep traffic flowing while keeping motorists and pedestrians safe. All motorists and pedestrians are required to follow these laws, yielding to whichever party holds the right of way.
If someone fails to yield the right of way and causes an accident, he or she could be held legally responsible for resulting damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Every year, intersections are one of the most common places where motor vehicle accidents occur in Louisiana. From 2014 to 2016, there were 442 fatal crashes at intersections in Louisiana, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
These crashes often involve violations of right-of-way laws, like the following:
- If there is a yield sign at an intersection, you must slow down and yield to any oncoming traffic. You may proceed through the intersection once you are able to do so without disrupting any oncoming traffic.
- Drivers must yield the right of way to any pedestrian who is legally crossing the road.
- When turning left, traffic traveling straight through the intersection holds the right of way.
- When entering a paved road from one that is unpaved, an alleyway, a private road, driveway or building, traffic on the paved road holds the right of way, according to Louisiana RS 32:124. Motorists must also yield to pedestrians in these situations.
- If traffic signals are not working properly, all drivers should approach the intersection cautiously, yielding the right of way to the vehicle that reached the intersection first, followed by the one to the right. If the red light is flashing, all vehicles must stop at the stop line or crosswalk, and proceed following the same rules of an intersection with a stop sign. If the yellow light is flashing, drivers should proceed through the intersection with caution.
Per Louisiana RS 32§212, motorists should yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing the roadway inside a crosswalk and when traffic lights are not working or in place.
Motorists must always yield to pedestrians who are blind, using a cane or who are guided by a guide dog, no matter what the traffic signals say, no matter where the pedestrian is located within the intersection. If the only way to avoid an accident with these pedestrians is to come to a complete stop, you must do so.
However, the law also says that no pedestrians can suddenly leave a curb or another place of safety and walk or run into a car's path so that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
According to Louisiana RS 32§125, all motorists must yield the right of way to emergency vehicles when they are lawfully using flashing lights and sirens. Motorists should pull safely to the side of the roadway, and watch for oncoming traffic before reentering the roadway, unless they are otherwise directed by a police officer.
Contact Our Baton Rouge Auto Accident Lawyers Now
The Baton Rouge injury attorneys of Simien & Simien know Louisiana’s right of way laws and will apply them to prove liability in your accident case. Our experienced attorneys will fight to hold at-fault drivers accountable for the injuries they have caused, securing the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to learn the legal options that could be available in your case. Our firm accepts cases on a contingency fee basis only. This means you only pay legal fees if we are successful in helping you recover compensation for your injuries.