Georgia Right-of-Way Laws

Woman walking on pedestrian crossing.

Woman walking on pedestrian crossing.Who has the right-of-way on the road or at an intersection is one of the most critical matters drivers need to keep in mind. If drivers don’t yield the right-of-way when required, they can end up moving into the path of other vehicles and triggering an accident. Right-of-way accidents frequently lead to painful injuries, financial hardship, and emotional distress.

An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help if you’ve been injured in a failure-to-yield crash that was someone else’s fault. The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Butler Kahn are widely respected and have a strong track record of helping injured clients seek the positive outcomes they need. While you recover from your injuries, we can work on building your case and negotiating skillfully for the fair compensation you deserve.

Whenever you are ready to learn more about how we can help you after a right-of-way accident, contact us for a free initial consultation.

Georgia Right-of-Way Laws

Right-of-way laws in Georgia require drivers to yield to other vehicles and pedestrians in an intersection with a traffic light or stop sign. At a four-way stop, the vehicle there first has the right-of-way. If vehicles arrive simultaneously, the one on the right goes first. When drivers see intersections with malfunctioning or missing signals, they must treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

What Are the Rules on Right-of-Way in Georgia?

Title 40, Chapter 6, Article 4 of the Georgia Code sets out Georgia’s right-of-way laws. Some of the key right-of-way rules to be aware of in Georgia are:

  • When approaching an intersection with a traffic light or stop sign, drivers are required to stop and yield the right-of-way to any vehicles or pedestrians in the intersection.
  • If no stop sign or traffic light is present at an intersection, drivers approaching the intersection must yield to any drivers who arrived at the intersection before them. If two or more drivers arrive at an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver in the left vehicle must yield the right of way to the driver on the right.
  • Pedestrians are given the right-of-way at all four-way stops. Vehicles can move through a four-way stop in the order they arrive once any pedestrians have crossed. If two or more vehicles arrive simultaneously, the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
  • Motorists must slow down and prepare to stop for traffic or pedestrians when approaching a yield sign.
  • Drivers are required to yield to oncoming traffic before making a turn.
  • When merging into traffic, drivers must yield to any vehicles in the lane they’re moving into.
  • Drivers entering a roadway from a secondary or private road must yield to any vehicles or pedestrians already in the primary roadway.
  • Drivers are required to yield to emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances when these vehicles have their lights and sirens turned on. Drivers should also slow their vehicles and move to the side of the road so emergency vehicles can pass.
  • Drivers must yield to road maintenance vehicles and any workers in a construction zone.
  • Drivers are not allowed to pass any school bus that stops and displays a stop sign and red flashing lights unless the driver is traveling in the opposite direction on the highway on the other side of a median.

What Are the Penalties for Failing to Yield the Right-of-Way?

The penalties for failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection depend on what happens as a result of the driver’s actions. At a baseline level, failing to yield the right-of-way when required will usually add three points to a driver’s license. A driver who fails to yield the right-of-way may also face a fine, the amount of which will depend on where the alleged violation occurred. They could face a more severe fine if they failed to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle.

However, if a driver strikes another vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, or something else because they failed to yield the right-of-way, they could face additional penalties in addition to being charged with failure to yield. Depending on the extent of the injuries caused, a driver who fails to yield the right-of-way could face steep fines, jail or prison time, the loss of their driver’s license, and other penalties.

A driver who fails to yield the right-of-way when required could also be held financially liable for any injuries they inflict due to their negligence.

Who Is at Fault in a Right-of-Way Accident?

The party who is at fault in a right-of-way accident depends on the facts of the case. As with any personal injury claim, you’ll have to demonstrate that the other driver was negligent in some way if you want to recover compensation for your injuries. That means proving that the driver did not exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring you.

If the other driver was the one who hit you after failing to yield, they have broken Georgia’s traffic laws, which can be used as evidence of negligence. However, this may not be enough for you to recover full compensation for your injuries, so make sure you get help from a knowledgeable car accident attorney.

One thing to keep in mind with any personal injury claim in Georgia is how the state handles cases where multiple parties share fault. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence rules, plaintiffs can recover compensation for their injuries as long as they are less than 50 percent responsible for an accident overall. However, if you are found partly liable for a right-of-way accident, the court will reduce your compensation by your percentage of fault.

Who Has the Right-of-Way at a Four-Way Stop in Georgia?

If there are any pedestrians at a four-way stop, they have the first right-of-way. Once the pedestrians have finished crossing the intersection, vehicles can begin moving through on a first-come, first-served basis. If two or more vehicles arrive at a four-way stop at the same time, whichever vehicle is on the right has the right-of-way.

Help for People Hurt in Crashes Involving Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way

If you’ve been injured in a right-of-way accident in Georgia, Butler Kahn wants to help you pursue what you need to put your life back in order. While you focus on getting the treatment you need to heal your injuries, we can begin gathering evidence and determining who is liable for your injuries.

Once we’ve finished that process, we can assist you with filing your claim and negotiating aggressively for a fair settlement. If the insurance company won’t agree to a reasonable settlement, we’ll be fully prepared to take your case to court.

We are ready to discuss your situation and provide you with details about your best legal options. Contact Butler Kahn for a free initial consultation if you think we can help with your situation.

Picture of Matt Kahn
Matt Kahn is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer and a partner at the law firm Butler Kahn. Matt has dedicated his career to fighting for individuals and families who had been harmed by the negligence of others. At Butler Kahn, he has had the honor of helping families who have lost children in motor vehicle accidents and people who were critically injured. He helped a family secure a $45 million settlement to provide lifetime care for their son, who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. Matt is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and has been recognized as a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star and by Best Lawyers as One to Watch. He has received an Avvo 10.0 Top Attorney rating. Connect with me on LinkedIn



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