What Does It Mean to Yield the Right of Way?

Failing to yield the right of way often results in serious and even fatal car accidents in St. Louis.

stop sign

Yielding the right of way essentially means letting another car enter an intersection before you do. However, yielding the right of way transcends more than just driving in an intersection and touches every aspect of driving.  Other situations where drivers can yield the right of way include when merging into a multi-lane roadway or when you reach a dead-end while driving on a rural road.

Yielding the right of way isn’t about asserting your dominance on the road. On the contrary, it’s about letting another vehicle go before you to mitigate the chances of colliding with each other.

When Should You Yield the Right of Way?

Missouri has pretty straightforward laws on situations when you should yield the right of way. Here are a few situations when you should yield the right of way.


  • Motorists should yield the right of way when pedestrians are crossing the intersection legally.
  • When entering a parking area, alleyway, or driveway, vehicles must yield right of way to crossing pedestrians.
  • All drivers turning left should let all vehicles going straight go first before turning.
  • In four-way intersections, you should generally let the drive that reaches the intersection first cross first.
  • In cases where the intersection lacks stop signs or traffic lights, you should generally allow drivers coming from the right to pass before you proceed.

Emergencies and Emergency Vehicles

When ambulances and other emergency sound their siren, you should give them the right of way so they can get the victim to the hospital in good time.

Pedestrians With Disabilities

  • Blind passengers, usually with a guiding dog or a white cane with a red tip, get the right of way in intersections.
  • Pedestrians on wheelchairs or crutches also deserve the right of way, especially in busy intersections.

Yield the Right of Way to Sidestep Accidents

Yielding the right of way not only lets you avoid traffic violations but also helps mitigate car accidents. So make sure you yield the right of way appropriately to prevent accidents.

If you have been involved in a car accident due to another driver’s failure to yield the right of way, get in touch with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm 24/7 for a free consultation.

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