Chicago Car Accidents: Did You Have the Right of Way?

On behalf of Gordon Law Offices, Ltd.   |  Jun 09, 2021   |  Car Accidents
Three cars crashed together at a corner

Not following the right-of-way rules for the road may result in auto accidents. The Illinois Department of Transportation reported 312,988 motor vehicle collisions in Chicago and across the state in 2019. Among other causes, some car crashes occur because drivers fail to yield to other motorists when they should. Due to wrecks resulting from failure to yield the right of way, the drivers and passengers involved, as well as others sharing the road, may suffer serious injuries or death.

Determining the Right of Way

Motorists in different positions may have the legal right to go first on the road under certain driving circumstances. Rather than specifying who has the right of way in different driving circumstances, the law specifies which drivers must give up the right of way in various situations. Understanding the rules for when they must allow other motorists to go first may help drivers avoid traffic tickets, as well as aid in preventing auto accidents that may result in serious injuries or death.

To know who should go first, drivers may consider the rules for the situation or the rule of yielding to the driver on the right. For instance, state law specifies that drivers crossing highways from alleys, private roads, or driveways should yield to those motorists traveling on the highway they intend to cross. The yielding to drivers on the right rule may apply to situations in which drivers arrive simultaneously at intersections.

Yielding the Right of Way

Various driving situations exist in which drivers must yield the right of way to others. Some of the most common circumstances in which drivers must allow others to go first may include the following:

  • Making left-hand turns
  • Entering the roadway after the car was parked
  • Arriving at T intersections
  • Approaching uncontrolled intersections with vehicles already in the intersection
  • Driving on unpaved roads that intersect paved roads

Drivers must also yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, people walking with the assistance of seeing-eye dogs, people using white canes, and when at a yield sign.

Insisting on the Right of Way

Even if they believe they should have the right to go first, motorists should never assume they have the right of way or force their way into traffic. Following the right-of-way rules may help drivers anticipate the actions of others. However, insisting on the right of way when they come into conflict with other motorists may cause serious wrecks.

Headd-on crash between a truck and a car