Right-of-way laws and regulations are in place to ensure cooperation among drivers and the smooth, safe flow of traffic on private and commercial roads. Those who know, understand, and apply these rules in their driving tend to be more courteous and able to use common sense in dangerous traffic conditions.
Sadly, failing to yield to a person with the right of way is the number-one cause of Nevada traffic accidents and the number-two cause of car accident fatalities. Failing to yield accounts for around 25 deaths and 6,500 crashes each year in Las Vegas, NV, which comprises 15% of all statewide accidents, according to the National Safety Council.
Continue reading to learn about important right-of-way laws in Nevada and which intersections in the state are the most dangerous. Then, do your part to prevent failure-to-yield accidents and avoid the potentially tragic consequences of such mistakes.
Defining Failure to Yield
When a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian has the right of way, it simply means that they have the right to proceed before another vehicle. You encounter situations every day in which you yield to vehicles with the right of way at four-way stops, intersections, stop signs, left-hand turns, pedestrian crossings, yield signs, in traffic circles, and more. Failure to yield is when a driver does not allow a vehicle with the right of way to proceed. Inevitably, this usually results in an accident.
If a driver fails to yield to you when you have the right of way, you should do everything in your power to avoid a collision. You can prevent failure-to-yield accidents and exercise proper caution by knowing Nevada traffic laws. State law has outlined nearly all the scenarios in which one would have the right of way and who should yield.
Nevada Yield Laws
According to Nevada law, the following scenarios constitute a failure to yield:
- Failing to yield to vehicles that arrived first at a four-way stop
- Failing to yield to those on foot who are crossing the street at clearly designated sidewalks or crosswalks
- Failing to yield at a red light
- Failing to yield to vehicles already on the road or highway when merging
- Failing to yield to emergency vehicles
If there’s ever a question in your mind about when you should yield to another vehicle, here are some basic Nevada right-of-way rules for you to review.
- You must always yield in intersections that aren’t governed by traffic signals or signs. The vehicle to the right usually has the right of way. If you are the vehicle with the right of way, cross the intersection with caution and be on your guard in case another driver is not paying attention or does not know the rule.
- You must always yield to bicyclists in bike lanes.
- When entering a busy street from a minor road, you must always yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
- When entering the freeway, yield to oncoming traffic and merge over when it is safe to do so.
Remember that a vehicle already in an intersection has the right of way over vehicles just arriving at the intersection.
- A vehicle going straight through an intersection always has the right of way over a vehicle turning left. Once vehicles going straight have cleared the intersection, you have the right of way to turn left if you have used your turn signal and have already allowed drivers heading straight to pass through.
- Always yield to funeral processions so that all vehicles involved can proceed together.
- Remember that pedestrians at crosswalks always have the right of way. Nevada law also grants the right of way to blind pedestrians with walking sticks or guide dogs. As the driver, you should yield or stop for these people as needed. If you are a pedestrian, you should only proceed once all oncoming traffic has cleared.
Most Notorious Intersections for Failure-to-Yield Accidents in Nevada
As the most heavily populated city in Nevada, Las Vegas experiences the most failure-to-yield accidents in the state. As such, you should be aware of the most dangerous intersections in the city and which ones to proceed through with extra caution.
- West Sahara Avenue and South Decatur Boulevard
- Flamingo Road and Pecos Road
- South Rainbow Boulevard and West Charleston Boulevard
- Boulder Highway and Nellis Boulevard
- I-215 and I-15
The Consequences of Failing to Yield
The state of Nevada uses a demerit system to penalize drivers who break traffic laws. Nevada only allows drivers to accrue 12 points over a one-year period. If you reach the limit, your driver’s license will be suspended for six months. Failing to yield results in a four-point penalty on your driving record — the second-highest penalty next to reckless driving and failing to render aid or give information at the scene of an accident.
As the victim of a failure-to-yield accident, you may experience long-term injuries that lead to hefty medical costs, loss of income-earning ability, emotional damage, and even a permanent decrease in quality of life. Failing-to-yield accidents are characterized by sideswiping, t-boning, and physical injuries including serious lacerations, spinal injuries, and broken bones. If you’ve been in such a situation, talk to one of our personal injury lawyers at Shook & Stone. We can quantify your losses and help you pursue compensation to recover sooner.
Who Is Held Responsible in a Failure-to-Yield Accident?
After a right-of-way violation, the court (with the help of a lawyer) will assign a liability percentage to the individuals involved. The lawyer’s part is to ensure that each individual’s responsibility percentage is fair by reviewing accident reports, evidence, and witness statements. If you are less than 50% responsible for the accident you were involved in, you can pursue compensation for your damages. Nevada is a tort state, which means that the driver deemed at-fault for a car crash must pay for the other driver’s medical care, if necessary.
Ways to Prevent Failure-to-Yield Accidents
The best way to avoid causing or falling victim to a failure-to-yield accident is to know the laws and do your part to actively prevent them. You can stay out of harm’s way by:
- Slowing down. You’ll have more time to react to someone failing to yield if you reduce your speed.
- Checking intersections before entering them. Even when you have the right of way, you can’t always trust other drivers to yield to you.
- Driving defensively. Always be aware of the cars to your front, back, and sides as well as the vehicles all around you. If you’re keeping an eye on other drivers, you can spot the ones that aren’t driving safely and actively avoid them.
- Never run red lights, especially if another vehicle is trying to turn left to clear the intersection before the light turns red. Always respect the right of way of the cars already in the intersection.
- Eliminate all distractions while driving. If you’re using your phone or are otherwise distracted while driving, you might not notice another vehicle attempting to merge into your lane.
Contact Shook & Stone After a Failure-to-Yield Accident
If you’ve been involved in a failure-to-yield accident and sustained injuries as a result, contact Shook & Stone immediately. Our auto accident attorneys will pursue justice and make sure you get the compensation you need to move forward. Give us a call at 702-570-0000 for a free case consultation.