According to a study published in 2019 by SmartAsset, Alaska and Tennessee were tied at number 8 in its list of worst states to drive in. The other top 10 states included Mississippi, Alabama, California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and Missouri.
Sadly, Tennessee is often one of the states that consistently remains near the top of the list of worst states to drive due to the high number of car accidents in the Volunteer State.
Just one reason for this bad reputation is the failure to yield.
In February 2020, Nashville resident Christopher Crowder, 34 years old, was killed when another driver, Tracy Humphreys, 57, pulled out of a parking lot and hit Crowder. Humphreys was charged with failure to yield right of way resulting in death.
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by refreshing your knowledge about Tennessee’s right of way laws.
Always yield to pedestrians
If a pedestrian is crossing the street on foot, bike or wheelchair, you must allow them to pass until they are safely far enough in the other lane before continuing. Even if the crosswalk isn’t marked, they still have the right of way. Blind people, children playing in the street and pedestrians in parking lots, alleyways and driveways also have the right of way.
In Humphreys’ case, she should have yielded to Crowder because she was entering the main road from a parking lot when there was already traffic. The same goes for vehicles entering from a driveway, another road, parking lot or making a left.
Who has the right of way at intersections?
It is common knowledge among drivers making a left turn at an intersection to yield to oncoming traffic. Even if the light at a 4-way intersection is green, you must wait for oncoming traffic to pass before making your turn.
Roundabouts are a little bit trickier for most drivers, but all you have to remember is to yield to traffic already in the circle. If there’s a 4-way stop instead of a roundabout, then the first driver who stops at their stop sign goes first. If all 4 vehicles arrive at the same time, the right of way must be given to the driver entering from the right.
Move over for emergency vehicles
If you see lights blinking and hear horns blaring, move over to the side of the road as quickly as possible. Use your turn signal to indicate to other drivers you’re getting into the right-hand lane before pulling over as close to the curb as you can.
Remember: it’s the law!
Public transportation vehicles
A bus or other public transportation vehicle with their blinker on must be given the right of way when pulling into traffic from a designated bus stop.
Making the decision to contact an experienced Tennessee accident attorney after a car accident is one of the smartest decisions a driver can make. Whether it’s a failure to yield or a rear-end collision, the lawyers at Gilreath & Associates have the experience, compassion and commitment to represent the victims of almost any accident.