Right of Way
Q: My friend was driving, and I was in the front seat. We came to an intersection that has a stop sign. On the other street, there is no stop sign. I remember very little after that, including whether she came to a full stop.
A: Generally, under section 1142(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, your friend was required to stop – and, even after that, yield the right of way to any vehicle that was approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard.
All the same, there can be more than one proximate cause of an accident. While the driver with the right-of-way is entitled to assume that other drivers will obey the traffic laws requiring them to yield, the driver with the right-of-way also has an obligation to keep a proper lookout and see what can be seen through the reasonable use of his or her senses to avoid colliding with another vehicle.
Even if your friend failed to yield the right-of-way, perhaps this failure was not the sole proximate cause of the accident. Perhaps the other driver was speeding, abusing a substance, preoccupied with a cell phone, absorbed in the radio, consumed by thoughts of love or anger, rebuking a passenger – or otherwise guilty of failing to take reasonable care to avoid this tragedy.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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