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Confusion Over Right-of-Way Laws Contribute to Uncontrolled Intersection Accidents

When roads cross and merge, intersections are present. While intersections are often equipped with signal lights and stop signs to help control traffic, some intersections don’t have any traffic controls present. When a traffic accident occurs in an intersection like this, it is referred to as an uncontrolled intersection accident.

What Is an Uncontrolled Intersection?

Uncontrolled intersections are intersections that aren’t equipped with traffic devices. These types of intersections are often found in residential neighborhoods or rural areas throughout Florida and nationwide. Because there aren’t stop signs, yield signs, or stop lights at these intersections, drivers passing through uncontrolled intersections are supposed to yield the right-of-way; however, many drivers don’t know the right-of-way laws or believe they have the right-of-way when they don’t.

A Closer Look at Right-of-Way Laws in Florida

When two cars are simultaneously approaching an intersection that is not equipped with traffic controls, the law states that the vehicle on the left should yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right. While some states differ, the majority of states nationwide give the car on the right the right-of-way.

While the driver on the right may know that he or she has the right-of-way to proceed through the intersection, the driver in the vehicle on the left might be confused or think he or she has the right-of-way. Because of this, both drivers are supposed to slow down and use caution as they proceed through an uncontrolled intersection in order to avoid crashing.

Failure to Yield at an Uncontrolled Intersection

Unfortunately, many drivers don’t slow or yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right, which leads to an auto accident. Although many uncontrolled intersection accidents occur at slower speeds than highway speeds, serious injuries can occur to all motorists and occupants involved in the wreck.

Determining Fault in an Uncontrolled Intersection Accident

If you have been injured in a crash at an uncontrolled intersection, determining fault can be difficult. If you were on the right, the other driver may be at fault for failing to yield the right-of-way. Additionally, a poor road design could be a factor when determining which party should be held responsible for your damages. This is why it is critical that you speak with an accident attorney immediately after your crash. To learn more about your rights, request a free copy of our book, What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck, or Bike Accident.


Damian Mallard, Esq.
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney