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Failure to Yield Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries

All car accidents can be dramatic, stressful, and severely damaging to both physical and mental health as well as personal property. While laws and rules govern roadways and require that drivers yield to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, failing to yield can cause serious injuries and accidents.

Accidents involving drivers who fail to yield can be so damaging because other drivers do not expect another vehicle to cut them off or enter their traffic lane. Therefore, some failure to yield accidents can occur at high speeds, increasing damage. By understanding the causes behind failure to yield and always respecting and paying attention to rules of the road, you can reduce your likelihood of experiencing a failure to yield accident.

What Constitutes a Failure to Yield Accident?

Failure to yield occurs when an automobile does not provide the right of way to another vehicle or pedestrian. Traffic laws define specific rules that dictate right of way — rules that any licensed driver should be familiar with. Failure to yield accidents can still occur, however, when drivers disregard these rules or are distracted. Common causes of failure to yield accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while using a cellphone
  • Reckless driving
  • Carelessness and inattention
  • Speeding
  • Driving in unfamiliar places

In many roadways, yield signs will dictate the right of way and determine which vehicles must wait for others to pass. Similarly, traffic flow laws that govern four-way intersections and cars pulling into and out of lots are in effect at all times, even if there are no signs present to call out these rules.

What Situations Commonly Involve Failure to Yield?

While driving, certain scenarios are more likely to involve failure to yield accidents. It’s important to always remember and follow the rules of the road and to respect the right of way at all times. Be vigilant even while driving on familiar roads and look out for road signs and other warnings and indicators when driving in new places.

Failure to yield often involves:

Turning Right on Red

Drivers turning right on red have to wait until oncoming traffic is clear and must be sure no pedestrians are crossing the road before turning.

Turning Left

Drivers turning left may fail to allow for ample distance and time before making a turn, as oncoming traffic has the right of way.

Exiting Parking Lots

When pulling out of parking lots or driveways and turning either right or left, existing lanes of traffic must be clear of oncoming vehicles. Passing pedestrians also have the right of way.

Yield Signs and Stop Signs

Yield signs most directly indicate that the right of way must be granted. Still, yield signs — and stop signs — that are ignored or go unnoticed can cause failure to yield accidents.

Bicycles and Pedestrians

Bicycles and pedestrians often have the right of way with respect to automobiles. Drivers should be vigilant and look for pedestrians or automobiles crossing a street. Even if the “Don’t Walk” sign is flashing, drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the street.


Drivers merging onto highways and other roads must yield the right of way to traffic already moving along the highway. Drivers should also be conscientious and safe in allowing oncoming automobiles to merge.

Who Is Liable in a Failure to Yield Accident?

When drivers are required by law to yield to others but fail to do so, they are typically considered responsible for a resulting accident. In some cases, failure to yield and resulting liability can be clearly determined.

In some cases, comparative fault can apply when drivers are each partially responsible. If one automobile fails to yield to a second automobile when making a turn, liability could be shared if the second automobile was speeding, for example.

Some situations can be less clear when determining the right of way and responsibility. In such cases, it’s smart to speak with an Indiana car accident attorney about your case.

Car Accident? Call an Indiana Car Accident Attorney

The Crossen Law Firm legal team has the experience needed to handle your car accident case in Indiana. And while we care about obtaining results for our clients, we also care about clients themselves. We want to help you obtain the compensation that you’re owed if you’ve been involved in a failure to yield Indiana car accident.

Contact us at 317-401-8626 to schedule a free consultation about your case.