- July 3, 2023
- Attorney David Mann
- Car Accidents
At Mann Injury Law, we have been helping members of the local community with their injury claims for over 50 years. Some of our guiding principles are to ensure that when you’ve been hurt you receive the compensation you are owed and fair representation under the law. We also seek to inform our clients about the law. One of the many questions we receive is about right-of-way laws in Georgia. Many auto accidents are caused by drivers’ misunderstanding the rules of the road. Questions such as “Do pedestrians always have the right of way in Georgia?” are common ones. This brief overview will provide information on Georgia’s right-of-way laws and hopefully help keep you safe.
What Are the Right-of-Way Laws in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, several types of right-of-way apply when operating an automobile or another mode of transportation such as a motorcycle. The broad rule is that the driver who arrives first at an intersection with a stop sign has the right of way. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Pedestrians always have the right of way when they are crossing a street via a crosswalk. Specified rules also apply to bike riders, who are allowed to ride in a lane of traffic and have the right of way in clearly defined bike lanes. Emergency vehicles have the right of way when their lights and sirens are turned on. If you encounter an ambulance, fire truck, or other emergency vehicle flashing its lights, you should pull over to the side of the road to allow the emergency vehicle to pass safely.
Who has the right of way at Intersections can often be confusing. When at a four-way stop, the driver who arrives at the intersection first has the right of way. In situations where two cars pull up at the same time, the car on the right has the right of way. With an uncontrolled intersection, the driver on the right has the right of way. Roundabouts establish right of way by giving it to drivers already in the roundabout over those entering it. Concerning traffic lights, the driver who has the green has the right of way; with two drivers it’s the driver on the right. Special situations such as emergency vehicles and funeral processions do still apply at an intersection.
Other Road Rules
In Georgia, there are other rules you need to be aware of to drive safely. These include:
- Drivers should yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.
- On multi-lane roads, you should yield to drivers who are changing lanes.
- If you are on a one-way road, yield to drivers who are turning left.
- On divided highways, you should yield to people exiting and entering the road.
- On rural roads, yield to drivers who are passing on your left.
The above road rules help keep you safe and can help avoid the accidents that aggressive driving can cause.
Right-of-way violations can vary but, in some cases, can be severe. For particularly serious offenses you may have points added to your driving record; and in situations where an accident occurs, you can face criminal charges if the accident leads to injury to other drivers. Lesser charges can still result in fines and tickets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Do If You’re Involved in An Accident Due to Someone’s Violating Rght-Of-Way Laws
If you’re involved in an accident due to a right-of-way law violation, the proper response is like other types of auto accidents. You should contact local law enforcement, seek any needed medical attention, exchange insurance information with the other involved driver or drivers, and collect any documentation about the accident such as a police report. Also, be sure to contact your insurance company. If issues arise concerning your insurance company, other driver’s insurance companies, or any offers of compensation that are below what you are due, legal recourse is available to ensure you get what you are owed, and we are here to help.
How to Avoid Right-of-Way Violations
The best way to avoid any right-of-way violations is to be a proactive driver. Pay attention to what is going on around you; avoid distractions; be careful when pulling up to intersections; yield to bicyclists and pedestrians; watch other drivers; and always follow traffic signs and lights.
Can Pedestrians Violate Right-of-Way Laws?
Pedestrians can violate right-of-way laws by actions such as not yielding to traffic when they should and crossing a road illegally. Do note that as a driver you have a greater responsibility to follow laws and avoid any accidents with pedestrians when possible. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to consult a pedestrian accident lawyer for legal assistance.
When You Need Legal Representation
Right-of-way laws exist to keep drivers on the road safe and avoid issues at intersections such as everyone trying to go at once. However, even with careful driving, accidents can occur due to the negligence of others. AAt Mann Injury Law, we help those who have been injured in accidents, including cases of distracted driving lawsuits. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, we can help. We can help you seek justice and recover the losses accidents can cause, such as:
- Medical treatment and recovery costs
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering, including both physical and emotional pain endured by you and your family
- Material loss such as your automobile repair or replacement
- Other types of losses, given the nature and scope of your accident.
If you’ve been hurt reach out to us today for a free consultation and to see what options you may have. Remember, you are under no obligation to go forward with a case if you do not wish to do so after meeting with us. Give us a call at (478) 742-3381 to see how we can help you.