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When do motorcyclists have the right of way at intersections?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2014 | Motorcycle Accidents |

Unlike cars, motorcycles are smaller and can get lost in traffic. Washington drivers may not look carefully enough for motorcycles, or may think that because they are smaller they should yield to cars. However, motorcycles have as much right to be on the roadways as any other vehicle. Some drivers may not understand when motorcycles get the right of way, and could, therefore, make dangerous driving mistakes that put motorcyclists at risk. Many may ask — when do motorcyclists have the right of way at Washington intersections?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has outlined four rules when it comes to intersections. These rules apply to all motorists on the roadways. If these rules are broken, and an accident occurs, the negligent driver could be held legally responsible for any damage caused in the accident.

The first rule when it comes to intersections is the base rule. According to the base rule, the first car to come to a stop at an intersection is the first car to go through the intersection. Therefore, if a motorcycle stops first, then it has the right of way.

The second rule applies when more than one car stops at the same time. In these cases, the motor vehicle on the right as the right of way. If more than two vehicles are stopped at the same time, the vehicle the farthest to the right goes first. If the first two rules do not apply to a situation, then whichever car is traveling straight has the right of way.

Finally, the NHTSA stresses that if a driver is unsure or feels like the driver’s safety is in danger, then the car should let others go first.

Many motorcycle accidents occur because drivers fail to follow these simple rules. When motorcycle accidents occur because a driver fails to yield, a motorcyclist should seek legal advice, which this post cannot provide.