Were you hit by a distracted or reckless driver who failed to yield the right of way?
Atlanta car accident attorney Charles Scholle can help you decide what to do next.
Drivers who fail to yield put everyone at risk, including themselves and their passengers. Tragically, these types of car accidents are sometimes even fatal.
Car crashes caused when a driver fails to yield the right of way are disturbingly common occurrences throughout Georgia and especially in the Atlanta metro area. While these types of crashes can occur under many different circumstances, failure-to-yield accidents are most commonly the result of a driver not following or knowing the rules of the road — or simply being negligent or reckless.
If you or your loved one were the victim of a failure-to-yield car crash, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Scholle Law. We can help guide you through your entire case, from negotiation through trial and appeal, if necessary. We have the knowledge, skill and expertise needed to help families answer the many questions that arise after a serious auto crash caused by a driver’s failure to yield.
Why contact our Georgia auto accident lawyer?
One of the most important aspects in recovery from any truck, car or motorcycle crash involving a failure-to-yield is to hire a lawyer who is capable of properly gathering the facts and establishing the fault of the negligent or reckless driver. Without some sort of conclusive evidence of the incident that makes the cause indisputable, the statements and/or testimony of the drivers involved may become an issue of credibility in litigating these cases. Sometimes there are enough witnesses who have seen the failure-to-yield crash to report a consistent story that shows the party at fault did, in fact, fail to yield.
Determining failure-to-yield might require the work of an accident reconstruction expert who can investigate and determine what happened in any given accident. Hiring the right expert witnesses in these cases takes the understanding and assessment ability of a very skilled lawyer.
Charles Scholle, a top rated Gwinnett County auto injury attorney, and his staff of excellent paralegals are well aware of the consequences of this type of accident to both life and limb. Find out how our expertise and knowledge can help guide you through the litigation process and protect you from insurance companies (and others) who wish to pay you as little as possible.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online
Failure-to-yield car crash statistics
- On an average, about 38 percent of all fatal crashes at signal-controlled intersections involved at least 1 driver who ran a red light.
- In 2018, 846 people were killed in crashes that involved red light running.
- On average, 24 percent of the fatal crashes involved at least 1 driver who failed to yield.
- Among fatal intersection crashes that occurred at stop signs, 42 percent of the crashes, on average, involved at least 1 driver who was charged with a failure-to-obey violation.
- In failure-to-yield crashes, about 69 percent were crashes that occurred when 1 driver turned left in front of oncoming traffic.
- Slightly less than half of all failure-to-yield and failure-to-obey crashes at traffic signals occurred on roadways with posted speed limits between 40-50 mph.
- The highest number of failure-to-yield crashes occurred in the early evening time period, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- Red light runners are more likely to be speeding or alcohol-impaired at the time of the crash and less likely to have a valid driver’s license.
Where do failure to yield collisions happen?
- Intersections (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.)
- Pedestrian crossings
- Passing emergency vehicles
- Merging lanes
- Left-hand turns into oncoming traffic
- Private driveways and alleys
- Parking lots
Common causes of vehicle accidents caused by failure-to-yield right of way
There are many other circumstances in which a failure-to-yield can cause a major and serious collision. These auto crashes always involve at least 1 driver failing to observe the need to yield to another vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist. The accident can range widely, from failing to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn at an intersection to turning when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or improperly merging.
A few of the most common causes of failure-to-yield crashes include:
- Aggressive driving. Tailgating, switching lanes, road rage and other aggressive driving behaviors can result in a driver ignoring the rules of the road and failing to yield when they’re supposed to. Patience is a virtue, especially when behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving. Driving while distracted is a common cause of failure-to-yield collisions because many drivers make the mistake of texting while behind the wheel, fiddling with their radio, using their cell phone or trying to talk with a passenger.
- Driver inexperience. Teens and younger drivers lack driving experience, which can cause confusion about when they should and shouldn’t proceed.
- Drunk and drugged driving. Drivers frequently make bad decisions when they’re high on drugs or inebriated by alcohol. Intoxicated driving is against the law in Georgia and drivers can be criminally charged with a DUI.
- Faulty vehicle. Are your tail lights and headlights working? It’s up to you to have a fully functioning car or truck. If you fail to do this, another vehicle or motorcycle might fail to yield because they don’t see you coming.
- Malfunctioning traffic lights. Though rare, occasionally a traffic light malfunctions and causes both drivers to proceed through an intersection at the same time.
Georgia failure to yield and right of way laws
Georgia’s laws regarding right of way are actually quite simple. In short, you must always stop and yield the right of way to anyone (in a car, on foot or on a bicycle) who arrived at an intersection before you, unless you are expressly given the right of way via a traffic light or lack of a stop sign. If an intersection doesn’t have a stop sign or traffic signal, then whoever arrives at the intersection first has the right of way. If you arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right.
When merging or approaching a yield sign, you must yield to oncoming traffic. Any vehicles that are turning onto a main roadway from a private alley or driveway must yield to oncoming traffic on the main roadway.
Georgia law on yielding and right of way is found in O.C.G.A. §40-6-72, which states:
Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to such sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. If such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima-facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way.
In regards to emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, police vehicles and ambulances, all Georgia drivers must slow down, move over and yield when their sirens are sounding and/or lights are flashing.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-74 summarizes this law as follows:
Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle or a vehicle belonging to a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency making use of an audible signal and visual signals meeting the requirements of Code Section 40-6-6, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right of way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.
Liability and negligence for Georgia car accidents
If another driver fails to obey these laws, and it causes a collision which you’re involved in, then you’ll need to prove fault and hold the driver liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
Generally, someone who causes a car accident by failing to yield will be considered liable based on prima-facie evidence, unless proven otherwise. So even if the person had the right of way was partially to blame because they were speeding or looking at their phone, for instance, the driver who failed to yield would almost certainly be held mostly responsible for the crash and forced to pay the damages of the other driver.
Penalties for failure to yield in Georgia
Anyone who causes a failure-to-yield crash in Georgia can face a fine and a 3-point penalty on their driving record. Fines vary depending on the county, but they typically range from $140 to $550. The fines for failing to yield to emergency vehicles or funeral processions are generally higher than fines for failing to yield to another private vehicle.
While these penalties can give accident victims a sense of justice, they do nothing to financially compensate them for the property damage and personal injuries caused by a failure to yield collision. For these losses, you’ll need to file a claim against the at-fault driver — either through an insurance claim or, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit. In either case, we recommend meeting with a Georgia attorney near you to calculate the full extent of your damages.
Talk to Atlanta’s top car accident lawyers
Charles Scholle and his team of auto injury lawyers in Gwinnett County have over 20 years of experience handling the cases of those who have been injured or harmed by another motorist’s failure-to-yield. We’ve won cases across the state of Georgia, from Lawrenceville to Suwanee and beyond. In failure-to-yield car accidents, if there are no other witnesses other than 2 drivers, establishing the fault of the non-yielding driver is critically important and often challenging when it becomes a “he said, she said” argument. In many cases, this is key to the recovery for injured victims and their families.
It is important that injured victims have the best advocate they can retain for the very important job of putting together the evidence to establish that the failure-to-yield was the cause of a crash and injury. If you were the victim of a failure-to-yield crash, contact Scholle Law today for your free consultation.
If you’ve been in an accident, stay calm. Make sure you’re not injured. Administer first aid if necessary and call emergency services. While waiting, get as much information as you can. Take pictures of the scene and the damage.
Don’t talk to the other driver if you can help it except to check on his injuries or to collect information.