Failure to Yield Right of Way

All drivers must exercise ordinary care in operating a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner for the conditions (such as weather and visibility). Morse v. Antonellis, 112 Wash.App. 941, 51 P.3d 199 (2002); Robison v. Simard, 57 Wash. 2d 850, 360 P.2d 153 (1961).

A driver with the right of way is favored under law, and may assume that the disfavored driver will yield the right-of-way until the point at which a reasonable person would realize that the disfavored driver is not going to yield. Maxwell v. Piper, 92 Wash. App. 471, 963 P.2d 941 (1998). Whitchurch v. McBride, 63 Wash. App. 272, 818 P.2d 622 (1991).

Rights of Way.

Uncontrolled intersection.

The driver on the right is favored and has the superior right of way to the disfavored driver on the left. RCW 46.61.180(1); Hough v. Ballard, 108 Wash. App. 272, 31 P.3d 6 (2001); Maxwell v. Piper, 92 Wash. App. 471, 963 P.2d 941 (1998).

Even if the actual collision occurred outside the bounds of the intersection, the driver on the left is liable if he or she failed to yield the right of way with reasonable regard to maintaining a fair margin of safety. Tobias v. Rainwater, 71 Wn.2d 845, 431 P.2d 156 (1967); Milne v. City of Seattle, 20 Wn.2d 30, 145 P.2d 888 (1944); Rutger v. Walken, 19 Wn.2d 681, 143 P.2d 866 (1943).

Left turn right of way.  

A driver turning left against oncoming traffic is disfavored and must yield. RCWA 46.61.185; WPI 70.02.01; Doherty v. Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, 83 Wn.App. 464, 921 P.2d 1098 (1996); Ellwein v. Hartford Acc. and Indemn. Co., 95 Wn.App. 419, 976 P.2d 138 (1999), reversed in part on other grounds, 142 Wn.2d 766, 15 P.3d 640 (2001).

The right of way rule for left turns at intersections is the same as the rule for uncontrolled intersections. Key v. Reiswig, 55 Wn.2d 512, 348 P.2d 410 (1960).

Stop and yield signs.

Driver must come to a complete stop at stop signs yield to vehicles in or approaching the intersection so closely it would be hazardous to proceed. RCW 47.36.110; WPI 70.02.01; Key v. Reiswig, 55 Wash. 2d 512, 348 P.2d 410 (1960).

A driver must slow at a yield sign and stop if safety requires. A collision after failure to stop is prima facie evidence of failure to yield right of way. RCW 46.61.190.

The right of way of drivers who are protected by stop or yield signs is not absolute, and they must exercise ordinary care. Sanchez v. Haddix, 95 Wn.2d 593, 627 P.2d 1312 (1981). In Dunn v. Harmon, 5 Wn.App. 87, 486 P.2d 103 (1971).

Emerging from alley, business driveway, or building.

An emerging driver must stop short of a sidewalk and must yield to oncoming traffic. RCW 46.61.365.

Emerging from a private driveway.

Vehicle entering or crossing a public street or highway from a private driveway must yield to all approaching vehicles. RCW 46.61.205.

Confirm Email
Phone Number