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Who Has the Right of Way?

Car crashes result from not knowing right of way rules.

Whether you drive, walk, bike, ride a motorcycle or do all four, knowing who has the right of way at an intersection or other crossing in South Carolina is important. If you know when you are required to yield the right of way, you can reduce your risk of being involved in a crash.

Situations in Which You Are Required to Yield

In many different situations, you must yield to another if you are operating a vehicle. You must yield the right of way when:

  • You approach a crosswalk or intersection for the purpose of making a left- or right-hand turn, and there are other vehicles or pedestrians in the intersection or crosswalk. You must yield even though the traffic signal indicates that you may proceed.
  • You encounter a pedestrian that is lawfully within a designated crosswalk.
  • An obstruction makes it necessary to travel to the left of the center of the road, requiring that you travel in the opposite direction for which the road is intended to be used. In this case, you must yield to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction.
  • You make a left turn in your vehicle. Left-turning cars must yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
  • You enter a roadway from a driveway, parking lot or side street.
  • You share the road with an emergency vehicle that is flashing its lights.
  • You are the driver on the left side at a four-way stop intersection. The driver on the right may proceed first.

These driving laws can be found in South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56 – Motor Vehicles.

What About Pedestrian Right of Way?

As we stated above, motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians when they encounter pedestrians who are legally using a crosswalk. This is true when the pedestrian is in the same half of the crosswalk that the vehicle will travel through or is approaching from the opposite side of the roadway.

However, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles when:

  • They cross outside of a designated crosswalk.
  • Traffic control signals indicate that they do not have the right of way and should not walk.

With that said, even if you do have the right of way as the driver of a motor vehicle, yielding the right of way to a pedestrian is always a good idea. A collision with a pedestrian could carry tragic consequences for the vehicle driver and pedestrian alike.

Drive, Walk and Bike Safely

As you navigate the roads and sidewalks of Florence and other areas in South Carolina, pay attention to who has the right of way and yield the right of way whenever the law or common sense and basic safety dictate. If you are involved in a crash caused by someone who unlawfully failed to yield the right of way, contact Jebaily Law Firm, P.A., for a free consultation.