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Who Has the Right of Way in Florida?

Home » Blog » Who Has the Right of Way in Florida?

by | Oct 29, 2022 | Florida Laws

Whether you’re planning a day at ArtsPark at Young Circle or traveling interstate 95, sharing the road is the goal. So, who has the right-of-way in Florida? The short answer is nobody!

It’s all about obeying road signs and who entered the intersection first according to Florida traffic laws.

Florida Statute 316.123 states:

“The right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized in 316.006 (The Department of Transportation)”.

Unfortunately, stopping at stop signs and yielding to let oncoming traffic pass seems to be difficult for many. According to the Insurance Information Institute, failure to yield right-of-way caused 3,663 deaths from fatal crashes in 2020.

If you’re still wondering who has the right-of-way in Florida, keep reading to learn everything you need to know to stay safe on the road.

Florida Right-of-Way Laws

“Who goes first” or “I am first” is how right-of-way violations begin on a daily basis on various streets in Florida.

Being hit by a motor vehicle because the driver failed to yield at a four-way stop is a nightmare. The key to defensive driving is knowing and understanding the rules of the road.

A driver who fails to yield to these Florida right-of-way laws can be cited and held liable for injuries or property damage.

At a Stop Sign

Slow down and prepare to stop when you see a stop sign. Traffic and pedestrians have the right of way. Proceed to your destination only when the road is clear.

Be prepared to alternate turns with other motor vehicles if you are at a two-way stop. Stopping first often grants you the right of way.

When turning left, give the driver opposite of you the right-of-way to ensure your safety.

At Open Intersections

The act of sharing the road involves stopping, yielding, and moving when a green light indicates it’s your turn.

But sometimes when traveling on a wide street with no traffic signals, yield signs, or flashing lights can cause confusion.

Typically, these types of roads are open intersections. Be ready to yield the right way when approaching an intersection that shows:

  • A motor vehicle is nearing from the opposite direction
  • There are vehicles traveling on the intersection
  • Approaching a highway from a secondary road
  • Accessing a paved road from an unpaved road

If you reach the intersection at the same time as another motor vehicle, the driver on the left should yield the right-of-way. The flow of traffic has the right-of-way over vehicles yielding to turn into an open intersection.

Whether you were allegedly at fault or received a right-of-way citation after following the above information, feel free to contact one of our expert attorneys with your questions.

At Roundabouts

Although roundabouts are considered safer and have been determined to improve traffic flow, adhere to all traffic signs.

Roundabouts move traffic in a counterclockwise direction. You must yield to traffic before entering the circle.

Multi-lane roundabouts are becoming more frequent. Stay left to turn left and stay right to turn right. Always follow pavement markings and traffic signs.

School Buses

If you are approaching the back of a stopped school bus or it is on the opposite side of traffic, you must stop. Whether it’s on a two-way street or highway, all cars must stop until the flashing red lights cease and the bus stop signal has been retracted.

The only exception to stop is when a school bus stop signal is present, but you’re traveling in the opposite direction with a raised barrier or an unpaved median that is at least five feet wide

Pedestrians

Drivers must always yield to pedestrians – with or without traffic signals. Anyone traveling in a crosswalk or driveway is a pedestrian. Whether the person is on foot, or on skates, he or she is a pedestrian. If they are riding on a skateboard or riding a bike in a crosswalk, they are a pedestrian.

If you see a pedestrian who is blind with a cane or guide dog, he or she has the right-of-way.

A person walking with crutches, or wheelchair bound, has the right-of-way. All motor vehicles must come to a complete stop for disabled pedestrians.

But pedestrian accidents happen often in Florida. Being very vigilant is important. Whether you’re on foot or in a vehicle, looking both ways, and being willing to yield or stop is essential.

If you are a pedestrian, whether or not you’re in a crosswalk, look both ways, and stay on sidewalks, walkways, and all paths designated for pedestrians. Pedestrians crossing a road without a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all motor vehicles.

Bicyclists

When using a roadway, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. If you are traveling by bike, you must adhere to all traffic laws, stopping at traffic signals, yielding at flashing lights, and making a complete stop when necessary. Yes, you can still get a traffic infraction or moving violation.

In Broward County in 2021, there were 716 bicycle crashes. Out of those 716 bike accidents, there were 617 reported injuries and 17 deaths.

Unfortunately, many of those were hit-and-run crashes. Staying diligent in sharing the road and making the best decision to stay safe and keeping cyclists safe is a priority.

Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles in Florida always have the right-of-way. Law enforcement and fire trucks need the streets cleared to protect Floridians and save lives. When you see those red or blue lights behind you, always pull to the side of the road to clear the path for police or emergency vehicles.

Have You Been Cited For Right-of-Way Violations?

Who has the right-of-way in Florida can be quite confusing. If you’ve been cited, don’t panic!

We understand that getting a citation can be stressful and overwhelming. Most people don’t know that they can fight their citations. That’s where Florida Ticket Firm comes in.

Since we know the Florida statutes and traffic laws inside and out, we can help you learn about your options and strategize.

Even if you received a right-of-way violation that caused an accident, you may still be able to recover damages. As Florida is a no-fault state, negligence on your part does not prevent you from recovering damages.

Our experienced ticket lawyers at Florida Ticket Firm offer a free consultation to ensure you understand your rights, the laws, and how we aggressively represent you in court. Contact us today!