Yielding the Right-of-Way

Yield also means to stop if you cannot merge safely into the flow of traffic. Examples of yielding the right-of-way:

  • When two vehicles from different directions arrive at an intersection at different times, the vehicle that arrives first goes first.
  • When two vehicles from different directions arrive at the same time at an intersection with no signs or signals, the driver on the left must allow the driver on the right to go first.
  • If the traffic lights at an intersection are not working, all vehicles coming to the intersection must stop. The driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
  • Drivers entering an interstate from an entrance ramp must yield the right-of-way to traffic already on the highway.
  • Drivers entering any intersection or traffic circle must yield to traffic already in it.
  • When entering a roadway from a private road or driveway, you must stop and yield to all traffic and pedestrians.
  • You must yield to pedestrians or bicyclists who are crossing a street within a clearly marked crosswalk or at an unmarked intersection. Remember that turns on red are especially hazardous to pedestrians. Avoid conflict with pedestrians and bicyclists; permit them to cross the street safely.
  • You must yield to funeral processions. Do not cut through, join or interfere with a funeral procession. Unless led by a police escort, the lead vehicle in a funeral procession must obey all traffic signs and signals. Other drivers in the procession may follow carefully without stopping and may use hazard lights flashers) to indicate they are in the procession.
  • You must yield to all military convoys. Never cut through or join a military convoy.

Drivers must take specific actions when they see vehicles with flashing or blinking blue, red, amber (yellow) or white lights on roadways.

Stationary (Stopped) Vehicles

When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights on a four lane highway, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, change to a lane not next to the vehicle. If you are unable to safely change lanes, reduce your speed and proceed with caution. Violations can result in court suspension of your driver’s license and demerit points on your driving record.

When passing stationary vehicles in the process of trash collection on a highway of at least four lanes, change to a lane not next to the vehicle, if you can change lanes safely. If on a highway of fewer than four lanes or if you are unable to change lanes, slow down to 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of the vehicle.

When passing a stationary mail vehicle, proceed with caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

You may not park within 500 feet of where fire trucks or equipment are stopped answering an alarm.

Approaching Vehicles – Same Direction

Never follow an emergency vehicle closer than 500 feet when its lights are flashing.

When police, fire and rescue vehicles or ambulances approach you from behind your vehicle using a siren, flashing lights or both, you must immediately yield the right-of-way. Safely pull over to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.

Approaching Vehicles – Opposite Direction

When emergency vehicles approach you in the opposite lane on an undivided highway, you must pull over to the edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle passes. These requirements do not apply in highway work zones.


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