Failure-to-Yield Car Accidents in Houston
Failure to yield is one of the top three most common causes of fatal car accidents in the United States, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute. In just one recent year, 7.3 percent (3,728 total) of all fatal accidents resulted from failure-to-yield behaviors.
If you were injured in a Houston failure-to-yield car accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the negligent driver. Contact the experts at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, to learn more about your right to recovery in a free initial consultation.
What Are the Right-of-Way and Failure to Yield?
If you have the right-of-way in a given traffic scenario, it means you are entitled to make the first move or continue traveling in the same manner. Other traffic must slow or stop and allow you to proceed.
Generally speaking, if you are in one lane on a multi-lane road, you have the right-of-way within that lane, and other drivers are responsible for ensuring it is safe to move into the lane before doing so. Similarly, if you are at an intersection with stop signs in all directions, you typically have the right-of-way if you arrive before other motorists.
A failure to yield occurs when a driver refuses or neglects to allow other motorists to exercise their legal right-of-way. Failure to yield the proper right-of-way can result in devastating traffic collisions.
How Failure to Yield Can Lead to an Accident
If a negligent driver fails to yield the proper right-of-way, they are significantly more likely to collide with other motorists who actually have the legal right-of-way. Some examples of accidents caused by failing to yield the right-of-way include:
- A motorist who fails to yield before changing lanes and merges into an oncoming vehicle
- A motorist who fails to yield at an intersection and T-bones another vehicle as they are crossing or making a legal turn
- A motorist who fails to yield to a pedestrian or cyclist and collides with them at a crosswalk or intersection
- A motorist who fails to check behind their vehicle as they back out of a parking space or garage and collides with a passing motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian
- A motorist who collides with an active emergency vehicle after failing to yield the right-of-way to them
Types of Failure-to-Yield Accidents in Houston
Failure-to-yield accidents in Houston commonly involve:
- Stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights – If a driver approaches a stop sign, yield sign, or traffic light without understanding how right-of-way rules work or without taking the time to look for other vehicles, they can easily collide with drivers who do have the legal right-of-way.
- Left turns – Left-hand turns often require more spatial awareness and judgment than right-hand turns because drivers must cross multiple lanes of traffic to turn left. Many failure-to-yield accidents occur when drivers making left-hand turns fail to accurately gauge the speed or distance of approaching traffic.
- Right turns on red – If a driver turns right onto an active roadway after stopping at a red light, they must pay close attention to oncoming traffic to avoid colliding with drivers who already have the right-of-way within the lane. They must also watch for pedestrians crossing the intersection from the right.
- Bicycles and pedestrians – Cyclists and pedestrians are much harder to see than other vehicles, and, unfortunately, many drivers fail to keep a proper lookout for these road users. Subsequently, many failure-to-yield accidents involve collisions with bike riders and pedestrians.
- Parking lots and driveways – Drivers must keep a close eye on their surroundings when backing out of parking spaces, driveways, and garages. When drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to passing pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists behind them, devastating backing-up accidents can occur.
- Three-way and four-way stop signs – It can be difficult to determine who should move first when multiple vehicles approach a three-way or four-way stop. Many failure-to-yield accidents occur at these intersections as a result of distracted, aggressive, or careless motorists.
- Merging – Before drivers enter or cross new lanes of traffic, they must ensure they can do so safely. However, many drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to approaching motorists and cause collisions as they merge into oncoming traffic.
- Emergency vehicles – Emergency vehicles have the right-of-way over all other traffic when their lights or sirens are active. Drivers who fail to stop, pull over, or change lanes when active emergency vehicles are approaching can cause dangerous failure-to-yield accidents.
Causes of Houston Failure-to-Yield Accidents
Houston drivers must practice safe driving behaviors, including yielding the proper right-of-way, to avoid injuring themselves or others. However, the following types of negligence are involved in many failure-to-yield accidents:
- Distracted driving such as driving while talking or texting on the phone
- Driving under the influence of intoxicating substances such as alcohol or drugs
- Driving while dangerously fatigued due to lack of sleep or medical conditions
- Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and lane weaving
- Lack of experience, training, or knowledge of Texas right-of-way laws
- Poor road conditions such as missing, hidden, or unreadable traffic signs
Types of Injuries You Can Suffer in a Failure-to-Yield Accident
A failure-to-yield accident can result in catastrophic damage and potentially serious injuries such as:
- Spinal cord damage, which can result in partial or total paralysis
- Head injuries such as skull fractures or penetrative head wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions or diffuse axonal injuries
- Neck and back injuries, including whiplash and herniated discs
- Severe lacerations and deep bruises
- Thermal or friction burns
- Dislocated, fractured, or shattered bones
- Damage to soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Joint damage to the knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists, or ankles
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological injuries
To obtain compensation after a failure-to-yield accident, you must be able to prove that the other driver should be held liable for your losses. You can do so by preserving and submitting the following types of supporting evidence for your claim:
- Police accident reports
- Photo or video evidence from the scene
- Skid marks and vehicle damage
- Medical bills, pay stubs, and other documentation
- Eyewitness statements
- Testimony from experts
At Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, our Houston failure-to-yield accident attorneys have the resources and experience to help you claim fair compensation for your losses. Contact us today to get started with your free initial case review and learn more about how we can support you during this difficult time.
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