Car & Traffic Accidents Caused by a Failure to Yield

Failing to Yield Right-of-Way Causes Major Collisions

Failing to properly yield to a vehicle or pedestrian can result in a major accident causing serious injuries or death.   A ‘failure to yield accident’ is one in which a driver fails to give (yield) the road to the party (other vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian) that has the right of way.

Washington State Failure to Yield Accident Statistics

On average, it's estimated that there are more than twenty-thousand motor vehicle crashes in Washington State each year that were directly caused by a driver failing to yield right-of way.

Below is a list of some examples of a car accident that may have been caused by at least one driver's failure to properly yield:

  • Failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Failing to yield to a bicycle when bicycle has right of way
  • Failing to yield  to oncoming traffic when making a left turn
  • Failing to yield to a pedestrian that has the right of way
  • Failing to yield to traffic at a flashing yellow or red light
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
  • Failing to yield to traffic when merging onto a highway

Legal Rights of Victims of Failure to Yield Collisions

accident caused by failure to yield Victims of accidents in which the at-fault party failed to yield have the right to compensation under Washington State law.  Those injured in failure to yield accidents can recover financial compensation for property damage, injuries, lost wages medical bills, brain injury, disability, or the death of a family member.

In failure to yield collisions the insurance company often tries to persuade the accident victim to give up their legal rights or accept an unfairly low offer.  Sometimes the insurance company will even try to scare the victims into thinking that they are actually at fault for the accident because they struck the at-fault driver’s car—even though they legally had the right-of-way.

The victim of a failure to yield accident has the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage, other harms, and pain and suffering damages can all be compensated for through a fair and reasonable settlement or jury award.

Washington State Failure to Yield Law

Washington State Law is very specific about yielding under RCW 46.61.190.  “…if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield right-of-way.”

“…Preferential right-of-way may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized in RCW 47.36.110.”  “…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…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…”

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.