Who Has the Right-of-Way in an Intersection Collision?

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In summary, the court case on Judge Judy involved a collision between a blue car turning right onto a 4-lane road from a stop sign and a red car on the main road that changed lanes in the intersection. It was determined that the blue car was at fault for not yielding to traffic, even though the red car technically committed an illegal lane change. The incident occurred in California and was featured on the TV show Judge Judy.
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DaveC426913
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Watching a court case on TV. This is the set up:

Blue car at STOP sign, turning right onto 4-lane road.
Red car on main road, but changes lanes in intersection.
1637711546542.png


There is a collision. Who is at-fault? (Or who is more at fault?)

I have always understood that it is illegal to change lanes in an intersection (though it appears to be in contention as to whether that is a law).
I am not sure if a cross road with a 2-way stop constitutes an intersection.
If this does count as an intersection, then blue car may have been within his rights to pull into a lane that was ostensibly clear of oncoming traffic.

What do you think? And is the law specific to your state/region?
 
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DaveC426913 said:
I have always understood that it is illegal to change lanes in an intersection
It's legal to do that in California, provided you do it right. i.e. the intersection is irrelevant.
 
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  • #3
DaveC426913 said:
If this does count as an intersection, then blue car may have been within his rights to pull into a lane that was ostensibly clear of oncoming traffic.

What do you think? And is the law specific to your state/region?
Technically, the blue car must wait for oncoming traffic to pass, even though a driver should not change lanes while crossing the intersection.

When I was in grad school, my wife was involved in a similar accident, but she was doing a left turn instead of right. She saw a truck in the far lane of a two lane, and she decided to turn left. However, the truck changed lanes without signalling and the trailer being towed hit the right corner of my wife's car taking off the front fender. My wife was entering a four lane highway with a median for left turns. She claims she had completed the turn, or at least had entered the lane before the other driver changed lanes. When I checked under the car, I found yellow paint from the median barrier. I then checked the scene, where she was forced over the median about a car length from the intersection. So, the evidence suggested she was already occupying the lane when the other driver changed lanes and struck her car.

Nevertheless, she was cited for being at fault and for not yielding to cross-traffic. The officer didn't bother checking the evidence supporting her claim that she had successfully occupied the lane and the other driver did an illegal lane change. I found out after the fact, when I arrived back at our apartment, and my wife was sitting in a tow truck, and her car was backed into the parking space, and the front bumper was in the back seat protruding through an open window. I told her she should have called my office, since I was only a couple of miles away from where the accident happened. However, she was too shaken up to think to call me, and she was upset that she was cited for being at fault.
 
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DaveC426913 said:
Watching a court case on TV. This is the set up:
What was the verdict in that court case? What state was it in?
 
  • #5
berkeman said:
What was the verdict in that court case? What state was it in?
It was on Judge Judy*.

She declared that Ms. Redcar, on the main road, had right-of-way, and Mr. Bluecar did not yield to traffic.

Mr. Bluecar tried to argue that Ms. Redcar changed lanes in an intersection and JJ shut him down before he could finish his sentence.

*and now you know my secret shameful indulgence
 
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1. What is right-of-way in an intersection?

Right-of-way in an intersection refers to the legal right of a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist to proceed through the intersection first, before other vehicles or individuals. It is determined by traffic laws and signals, and is essential for maintaining safe and orderly traffic flow.

2. How is right-of-way determined at an intersection?

Right-of-way is typically determined by traffic signals, signs, and markings. In most cases, vehicles and pedestrians must follow the signals and yield to those with a green light or signal. In the absence of signals, the right-of-way is generally given to the vehicle on the right, or to the vehicle that arrived at the intersection first.

3. Do emergency vehicles have right-of-way at intersections?

Yes, emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars have the right-of-way at intersections. They are allowed to disregard traffic signals and signs in order to respond to emergencies as quickly and safely as possible.

4. Who has right-of-way at an uncontrolled intersection?

At an uncontrolled intersection, meaning there are no traffic signals or signs, the right-of-way is typically given to the vehicle on the right. However, if two vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right.

5. Can right-of-way be given up at an intersection?

Yes, right-of-way can be given up at an intersection by using hand signals or other means of communication. For example, a driver may use a hand signal to indicate to another driver that they can proceed through the intersection first. It is important to communicate clearly and make sure all parties understand before proceeding.

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