Right of Way Laws in Florida
Gregg Hollander | April 12, 2023 | Florida Law
Although drivers are often confused about the right-of-way rules in Florida, laws are on the books that clearly establish who has the right-of-way in most, if not all, traffic situations. Having a firm grasp of these laws will help you avoid getting in a car accident or facing liability for causing one.
At Stop Signs
When at a stop sign, traffic within the intersection and traffic without controls have the right of way. At intersections with four stop signs, the first vehicle to stop gets to go first. When two vehicles reach their stop signs and stop simultaneously, the vehicle to the right has the right of way.
At Open Intersections (Uncontrolled Intersections)
At open intersections, the vehicles already in the intersection have the right of way. If you are making a left turn, oncoming traffic has the right of way. Additionally, if you are entering a paved road from an unpaved road or are entering a state highway from a secondary roadway, you must also yield the right of way to other vehicles.
Roundabouts keep traffic flowing smoothly, and ideally, traffic does not stop once inside the circle. Hence, vehicles entering a roundabout must yield the right of way to the traffic already within the circle.
Particular Traffic Members
Right-of-way laws in Florida don’t just govern situations between standard motorists; they also apply to particular members of traffic.
Many believe that pedestrians always have the right of way in every situation. However, this is not true. Although drivers must always take the appropriate steps to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, pedestrians do not automatically always have the right of way.
When a pedestrian is legally crossing the street, vehicles must yield the right of way to the pedestrian or stop until the pedestrian has crossed the street. This rule also applies to bicyclists approaching pedestrians.
Pedestrians, on the other hand, must yield the right of way to vehicles that have green lights or have already entered an intersection before the pedestrian arrived.
For maximum protection of children, Florida’s right-of-way laws favor school buses in right-of-way circumstances. For example, on two-way roadways, drivers transiting in either direction must come to a complete stop when a school bus has stopped and is dropping off or picking up children.
Public Transit Vehicles
Public transit vehicles include buses, shuttles, and other similar vehicles that carry passengers. If a publicly owned transit bus is signaling to re-enter a roadway from a designated pullout bay, drivers must yield the right of way to the transit bus.
Bicycles are considered vehicles in Florida. As such, they must obey the same right-of-way laws drivers do, and drivers must afford them the same treatment as they do other motorists.
That said, there are specific right-of-way rules drivers must follow concerning bicyclists. For example, a motorist who is going to execute a turn must yield the right of way to bicyclists in an adjacent bike lane who are also turning.
Drivers must yield the right of way to authorized emergency vehicles when the vehicle is in transit to an emergency. Bicyclists and pedestrians must also do so. Additionally, vehicles must move over a lane for emergency vehicles that have stopped and are displaying warning lights or signals.
Follow Right-of-Way Laws to Keep Everyone Safe
Understanding the right-of-way laws in Florida will help keep you from causing an accident and may help you avoid being hit by another driver following these rules. If you are hit by someone who fails to yield the right of way when they should have, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
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West Palm Beach, FL 33401