The Right-of-Way Law in Oregon
At times, while driving on the roadways in Oregon, you are required to yield the right-of-way. In simple terms, it means that in specific situations, you must allow another driver to go first.
Drivers should know that under Oregon law, no one has the right of way on a road. The law instead states who may be required to “yield” the right of way in specific circumstances. It is a driver’s responsibility to do everything possible to maintain road safety and avoid an accident.
If you commit a right-of-way traffic violation in Oregon, you could receive a traffic ticket for this offense.
Right-of-Way at an Intersection
Motorists often get confused at intersections when they have to make quick decisions. For instance, when a car driver is in a rush, they may forget a green light while the driver is in the left lane does not necessarily give them the right to go first. This right would apply only if the traffic light shows a green left-turn arrow.
These seemingly minor misunderstandings on the road can sometimes lead to serious accidents and injuries. The driver must follow the traffic light at an intersection with signals. However, they should remain alert towards the activity on the road even when they are following the signal’s direction.
At some of the intersections, the driver may not be allowed to turn right on a red light (though this is rare), or the intersection may dictate that the driver should yield right-of-way to the vehicles going straight before the driver may turn.
Right-of-Way at an Intersection with Signals
At an intersection without any traffic signal, right-of-way is even more important. While in absence of traffic lights, a driver may try to take liberties, it can compromise road safety.
Motorists should understand the right-of-way rule and follow it diligently at uncontrolled intersections or four-way stops. Two key aspects of right-of-way to follow on intersections are:
- If two vehicles enter at the same time into an intersection, the driver on the left should yield right-of-way to the driver on the right.
- The first driver who stopped at the intersection will have the right-of-way.
Right-of-Way at a Three-Way or “T” Intersection
When cross a “T” intersection, slightly different right-of-way rules will apply. Here, the rule is that the motorist who is on a road that is ending should yield to a motorist who is on the through road. Irrespective of which of two motorists got first to the “T” intersection, this rule will always apply.
Right-of-Way When Turning Left
A motorist may violate the traffic rules if they fail to yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicles while going through a left-turn green light. Under Oregon law, the driver could be charged with this violation if they turned left in such a situation without “reasonable safety.”
Right-of-Way at a Stop and Yield Sign
Even when the motorist comes to a complete halt at a stop sign, they could still be ticketed if they fail to yield to the other vehicle that has the right-of-way. Failure to yield in such situations can be dangerous and can cause an accident.
Right-of-Way on a Roundabout
It is vital to follow right-of-way rules on a rotary, traffic circle or a roundabout. A motorist should yield to the traffic that is already within the roundabout, watch the vehicles to their left, wait for a break, and then go into the circle.
Right-of-Way to Pedestrians
A driver of a motor vehicle in Oregon is required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at a marked crosswalk. Safety becomes a key issue in situations that involve a vehicle and a pedestrian. Motorists must remember that while they are inside the car, the pedestrians are far more vulnerable because they are not shielded by anything.
An Oregon driver can be ticketed if they fail to stop for a pedestrian or come dangerously close where the pedestrian could get hit by the vehicle. Clearly, failing to yield right-of-way to pedestrians is always dangerous, and entirely preventable.
Right-of-Way to an Emergency Vehicle
If the motorist in Oregon notices an emergency vehicle approaching with lights flashing and sirens sounding, they should yield the right of way. If an emergency vehicle is approaching a roundabout, the motorist should not enter at the same time. They should pull over and allow the emergency vehicle to go in the circle.
Right-of-Way to a Funeral Procession
Under Oregon law, right-of-way to a funeral procession is mandatory. Violators will be subject to similar penalties as any other offense of failure to yield.
Oregon law is stricter than many other states in this regard, where motorists are expected to pull over for a funeral procession out of their own compassion and consideration, but are not mandated by law to do so.
Right-of-Way Tips for Oregon Motorists
Here are a few basic tips all motorists should keep in mind regarding right-of-way rules on Oregon roadways:
- Do not assume what the other motorist on the road is going to do.
- Yield quickly whenever it is a question of road safety.
- Do not insist on having on the right of way.
- When possible, maintain eye contact with the other drivers on an intersection.
- Remain alert and try to anticipate the other driver’s action when possible.
Penalties in Oregon for Failure to Yield
Oregon does not have a points system, so the drivers in violation of the right-of-way rules may not have to worry about any demerit being assigned to their driver’s license. However, fines can be imposed, and the amount can vary according to an individual county’s discretion.
Right-of-way law assumes much great significance in a situation where a violation contributed to an accident involving serious personal injuries. Therefore, the safest approach for motorists in Oregon should be to follow the right-of-way rules under all circumstances on the road.
Consult with a Skilled Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have suffered personal injury in an accident that could have involved right-of-way violation of the other driver, get in touch with Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Oregon.
The firm’s experienced attorneys will evaluate the complexities of your claim accurately, and work hard to maximize compensation for your injuries. Schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-285-8678 today.