Matthew Minner | May 17, 2021 | Kentucky Law
Cities and states use a variety of signs to help keep roads safe and direct the flow of traffic. Stop signs, one-way signs, and signs alerting cars to the presence of pedestrians are all crucial components of keeping traffic moving safely.
It is equally important that every driver knows what is expected and required of them at each type of sign. Stop signs are perhaps the easiest as they are the most common type of sign and have cut and dry rules.
Yield signs, however, are a little more ambiguous. This is because they are less common than other signs. Also, your obligations to yield may change depending on the situation.
Yielding the Right-of-Way
The purpose of a yield sign is to make sure traffic entering a roadway gives the traffic already on that roadway the right-of-way. You will often see yield signs on entrance ramps to freeways or at intersections where the traffic on the main roadway does not need to stop.
A yield sign means you need to give the right-of-way to cars already on the road you are trying to enter.
This means that you should follow these simple steps every time you approach a yield sign:
- Slow down as you approach the sign
- Look to see if there is oncoming traffic
- Wait until the traffic passes before entering the road (this may mean you need to come to a complete stop)
- Enter the roadway when there is no oncoming traffic
Be careful when you enter a roadway that has a yield sign. You might not be able to see every vehicle that is approaching. It is best to exercise caution and only enter the roadway when you are absolutely certain there is no oncoming traffic.
What if I Have an Accident at a Yield Sign in Kentucky?
If you fail to yield the right-of-way at a yield sign and cause an accident, you may be liable for crash victims’ injuries and property damage. A driver’s failure to yield at a yield sign can constitute negligence when the driver causes an accident.
Even if another driver was mostly at fault for your crash, your failure to yield at a yield sign could reduce your damages in a personal injury suit. Under Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence rules, an injury victim’s damages are reduced according to their share of fault for the accident, if any.
It is critical to yield to oncoming traffic at a yield sign to avoid liability for a personal injury claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Even in so-called slam-dunk cases, it might be wise to hire a skilled personal injury attorney in the state of Kentucky. A lawyer who specializes in car accident cases will know how to analyze your case for potential damages and might discover something you never even considered.
Personal injury lawyers will also interact with the insurance company on your behalf. In a failure to yield case, an insurance company will try to settle the case as quickly as possible and for as little as possible. They certainly don’t want you to hire a lawyer.
An accident where a driver failed to yield at a yield sign and crashed into your car can be traumatic. As you recover, the last thing you need is the headache of dealing with an insurance company. When you enlist a lawyer’s services, you have a better chance of collecting more compensation, and you get the peace of mind of having an advocate on your side.