Every driver has a responsibility to abide by the rules of the road, and one crucial set of guidelines is knowing who has the right-of-way in a situation. Regrettably, cars still strike hundreds of pedestrians of all ages each year on North Carolina roads despite such laws.
Everybody should have a basic understanding of when they can go and when they should yield to keep road travel safe.
What is the right-of-way?
Right-of-way simply means that one person has permission to go first before anyone else. When it comes to driving, this usually means that some drivers must stop or yield while other motorists continue through an intersection or roundabout. Right-of-way laws also apply to pedestrians, who should obey traffic signals.
When must drivers yield?
North Carolina state law requires all drivers to yield at certain intersections and roundabouts. This includes intersections with stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, train crossings, tunnels and blind intersections. If two cars enter an intersection simultaneously from different roads or highways, the car on the left must yield to the car on the right. Additionally, drivers must always yield to any emergency vehicle using its siren or flashing lights.
Drivers should always yield to pedestrians, particularly at crosswalks. Though pedestrians always have the right-of-way, people who are walking should observe traffic signals and can receive a fine for not obeying signs.
Penalties for failure to yield can include fines and steep increases in insurance rates. Following the law prevents costly tickets and helps reduce congestion by ensuring that traffic flows smoothly without any unnecessary stops or delays.