Every year, many serious and deadly automobile accidents in Arizona take place at intersections. Some of the most dangerous intersections in Phoenix are 75th Ave. and Indian School Rd., 27th Ave. and Camelback Rd., and 67th Ave. and McDowell Rd. Right-of-way laws are in place to prevent intersection accidents by determining which driver may proceed across the intersection at a time. It is critical to understand who has the right-of-way at an Arizona intersection to avoid being injured in an intersection car accident.
The right-of-way means legal permission to enter or proceed across a roadway. At an intersection where two or more roads cross each other, the right-of-way is a road user’s right to enter the intersection. All road users must obey Arizona’s right-of-way laws: motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
If anyone breaks or violates Arizona’s right-of-way laws at an intersection, he or she may collide with the person that did have the right-of-way, as they will both be in the intersection at the same time. Intersection accidents are often catastrophic, as they can involve high-speed, head-on or T-bone collisions. Serious vehicle-pedestrian collisions also commonly occur at intersections.
When traffic at an intersection in Arizona is controlled with a stop sign, the driver who approaches the intersection first has the right-of-way. According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-771, if two or more vehicles approach an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right.
Bicyclists in Arizona must obey all the same traffic signs and right-of-way laws as motorists. Pedestrians, however, always have the right-of-way at an intersection with a stop sign. Although a pedestrian cannot step out into an intersection in front of an oncoming vehicle, he or she has the right to cross the road when a vehicle is stopped even if the driver of the vehicle was there first.
When an intersection in Arizona is controlled by a traffic control signal (one that uses red, yellow and green lights and arrows), ARS Section 28-645 states that the road user that is being shown a green signal has the right-of-way, unless making a left turn at a place that does not have a green arrow signal. In this situation, the driver turning left must yield the right-of-way to oncoming drivers traveling straight across the intersection at a green light.
A road user that is shown a red signal must come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to the motorists with the green signal. There is an exception if the driver is turning right. A driver can turn right at a red light if it is safe to do so, as long as there is not a red arrow. At a yellow traffic signal, motorists should reduce their speeds and be prepared to stop, as it means that a red signal is about to appear. Pedestrians facing a green signal (or a “Walk” pedestrian crosswalk signal) may proceed across a roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
If an intersection does not have a stop sign or traffic control device in place, or if the control signal or light is inoperative, all motorists must treat the uncontrolled intersection as if it were a four-way stop. A motorist must approach slowly and come to a complete stop before entering the intersection. The driver of the vehicle that approaches the intersection first has the right-of-way.
If you get involved in an crash at an intersection in Arizona, discuss who is financially responsible for the situation with a car accident attorney in Phoenix. The lawyers at Stone Rose Law can help you understand how Arizona’s right-of-way laws apply to your car accident case.