Motorcycle Accident Caused by Failure to Yield Right-of-Way 

Failure to yield the right of way can lead to any number of dangerous traffic scenarios. A motor vehicle struck and injured a Richland man riding a motorcycle on Tuesday afternoon. The motorcycle rider tried to make a left turn on to the highway and failed to yield to oncoming traffic.

The collision happened in the southbound lane of Grosscup Boulevard and Highway 224. The 54-year-old motorcyclist was transported to a local hospital. He was cited by authorities for failing to yield.


Every driver goes through countless stops, starts, and turns in a single trip. Even if there are no signs or signals to regulate traffic and driving behaviors, there are laws governing who has the right-of-way and who must yield. Failure to execute any of these maneuvers or turns can result in a citation and fine.

These traffic laws were enacted to facilitate safety for all motorists—whether they are pedestrians, in cars, trucks, bicycles, or motorcycles.  Failure to yield the right-of-way is the number one citation in city collisions.

Who Has the Right of Way?

Washington state law says that a driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left at or within an intersection, road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.  The law does not give anyone the right of way, but states who must yield.

The concept of the right of way is important to understand since the law never really grants the right of way. The law simply states when the right of way must be yielded. Right of way can be used when the law permits its use by requiring that others yield the right of way to you. Failure to yield the right of way leads to crashes in all states. There are some ways for you to reduce this probability when you are driving however. Right of way must be yielded to other drivers in the following instances:

  • At a yield sign
  • If pedestrians are in a crosswalk
  • To persons using a seeing-eye guide dog
  • To persons using a white cane with or without a red tip
  • At uncontrolled intersections where vehicles are already in the intersection
  • At “T” intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road
  • If turning left (in which case you must yield to oncoming pedestrians, cars, etc.)
  • When driving on an unpaved road that intersections with a paved road
  • When returning to the roadway after the car is parked.

 Rule of Thumb

Oncoming traffic always has the right-of-way. There are often signs for unprotected left turn lanes posted to remind drivers who are turning across traffic to yield. Distracted drivers or those who are in a hurry may not notice the reminder. But those yellow or red signs are important visual reminders that opposing traffic will not stop to accommodate a left-hand turner.

Traffic signals also indicate right-of-way. If there is not a green arrow, but a flashing yellow or red light, that means you must yield to moving traffic, regardless of who was at the intersection first.

If two vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. This is very critical in roundabout intersections.

Here to Help

An unspoken rule of the road is that all drivers should attempt to be not only courteous to, but conscientious of other drivers. Yielding the right-of-way is the law and keeps our roads and highways safe and civil avenues of transportation for all.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a driver who failed to yield the right-of-way, Fielding Law Group can help you. Our team of professionals know your legal options and get can get right to work on helping you get the compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our trusted attorneys are with you every step of the way. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!  We are here to help you get your life back.