Right of Way Accidents That Have Reached the Supreme Court of Washington State

Right of Way – Uncontrolled Intersection 

 Rutger v. Walken, 19 Wn.2d 681, 143 P.2d 866 (1943) 

  •  A driver must give the vehicle to his right the right-of-way if the vehicle’s arrived at the intersection simultaneously. 

  Zorich v. Billingsley, 52 Wn.2d 138, 324 P.2d 255 (1958)

  • A driver who fails to yield to the right of way to an automobile entering an intersection to his right is negligent when the two cars collide within the intersection. This establishes that they were simultaneously entering the intersection at the same time. 

 Watson v. Miller, 59 Wash.2d 85, 366 P.2d 190 (1961) 

  • There is a duty to yield to the right of way. Having failed to do so, the appellant is guilty of negligence. 

Tobias v. Rainwater, 71 Wn.2d 845, 431 P.2d 156 (1967)

  •  If a disfavored driver does not comply with statutory obligations as to right-of-way and this failure is a proximate cause of accident, he must be held negligent. 

 Right of Way – Left Turn 

Key v. Reiswig, 55 Wn.2d 512, 348 P.2d 410 (1960) 

  • If the favored vehicle in an intersection is negligent or is unlawfully operated as to deceive the disfavored driver on the left to warrant the assumption that has the right to proceed, the favored driver’s right-of-way does not apply. 

Right of Way – Stop Sign 

 Sanchez v. Haddix, 95 Wn.2d 593, 627 P.2d 1312 (1981) 

  •  A favored driver, on an arterial protected by a stop sign, has the strongest rights-of-ways, however he is still requited to exercise ordinary care. 

Right of Way – Deception Doctrine 

 Kerlik v. Jerke, 56 Wn.2d 575, 354 P.2d 702 (1960) 

  • When a disfavored driver is unaware or did not see the favored vehicle, they cannot claim deception by a favored driver.