No One Has the Right-of-Way in Florida
Failure to yield the right of way is among the top 5 leading causes of fatal accidents and accidents resulting in injury in the U.S. So, the question is: Who has the right of way on the roadway in Florida? And the simple answer is: No one!
According to the Florida Driver’s Handbook, Florida law doesn’t actually give anyone the right of way on the road. The law only says who must yield (give up) the right-of-way. Every driver, motorcyclist, moped rider, bicyclist and pedestrian must do everything humanly possible to avoid a crash at any cost.
So how do you know when to give up the right-of-way? Here’s a quick guide to help you:
- Stop Signs: You must yield the right-of-way to all other traffic and pedestrians at stop signs and only move forward if the road is completely clear. At four-way stops, the first vehicle to stop is also the first to move forward. However, if the cars got to the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right.
- Open Intersections (No lights or signals): Yield the right-of-way if:
- A vehicle is already in the intersection.
- You enter or cross a state highway from a secondary road.
- You enter a paved road from an unpaved road.
- You plan to make a left turn and a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction.
Just like a stop sign, when two cars arrive at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
- Roundabouts/Traffic Circles/Rotaries: Many different names, all the same rules. Vehicles approaching the roundabout yield to circulating traffic unless otherwise noted. If you’re already in the roundabout, you technically have the right of way, but always be wary and stay alert!
Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to these rules, so the best possible thing you can do is pay attention and drive defensively. If another driver fails to yield you the right-of-way, you still have to stop or yield yourself, when possible, to be safe. Like we said, the law doesn’t really give anyone the right of way, but it does state that every driver must do everything possible to avoid a crash.