At a recent doctor’s visit the doctor asked me a question about vehicle right-of-way in Texas. Most people, probably including most lawyers, don’t know who does have the right-of-way in certain situations.
We all know, I hope, the rules about traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs. But what if there isn’t a sign or signal to help us decide who has to yield to another vehicle?
That happens mainly in two situations — at uncontrolled intersections and when two vehicles traveling the same direction both try to merge into the lane between them. The right-of-way rules are different in each of these situations.
Obviously, if one vehicle is ahead of the other, that vehicle has the right-of-way. So if you come to an intersection and another car is already in the intersection, that one has the right-of-way. Similarly, if a car is ahead of you on the road and starts to change into the lane between the two of you, that car has the right-of-way. But what if two vehicles get to an intersection or start to change lanes at exactly the same moment?
The answers? At an uncontrolled intersection, the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way. In a lane change situation, the vehicle to the left has the right-of-way.
This information is found in the Transportation Code, Title 7, Vehicles and Traffic, Subtitle C, Rules of the Road, Chapter 545, Operation and Movement of Vehicles.