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Madison Car Accident Attorneys | Right-of-Way Laws

Madison Car Accident Attorneys Explain Wisconsin Right-of-Way Laws

Right-of-way laws are created to help prevent accidents. They are one of the most basic components of any Driver’s Ed class and a must-know in order to pass the licensing exam. By delineating when to proceed versus when to yield, right-of-way (ROW) laws protect drivers and ensure orderly progression of traffic.

Despite how crucial right-of-way laws are to traffic safety, our Madison car accident attorneys see many cases each year that resulted from a failure of drivers to follow those laws. Failing to follow these rules of the road can result in injuries or death, property damage, and a lawsuit. Lawsuits can be filed against drivers who were at-fault for the accident, the compensation of which is often used to help victims recover from the financial impacts of the accident.

If you have been involved in a car accident and think that a violation of a right-of-way law may have contributed to the incident, contact the car accident attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices for a free consultation. In the meantime, use the quick recap below to become more familiar with right-of-way laws.

Common Wisconsin Right-Of-Way Laws

  • Intersections. Intersection right-of-way laws vary based on the type of intersection.
  • General Rule. The general rule applies to all traditional 4-way stops where there is no traffic signal. In these situations, all drivers must come to a complete stop. The first driver to arrive at the intersection has the right of way.
    • When two vehicles approach such intersections at the same time, the vehicle on the left yields to the one on the right. If a vehicle is speeding as it approaches the intersection, it forfeits the right of way.
    • Left Turns and U-Turns at Intersections. Vehicles making a left or a U-turn at an intersection must yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
    • Through Highway Intersections. When entering a through highway, drivers must come to a complete stop before entering the highway. They must also yield the right-of-way to other vehicles that have entered or are approaching the intersection on the highway.
    • Uncontrolled T Intersections. Drivers approaching an intersection on a highway that ends at the intersection must yield the right-of-way to any vehicles on the continuing highway.
  • Entering a Highway or Other Roadway. When entering a highway/roadway, the driver coming to the highway/roadway must yield to traffic already on the roadway and only proceed when it is safe.
  • Parked Vehicles. Vehicles that are parked and are moving on to a roadway must yield to traffic already on and approaching the roadway.
  • Left Turns. When turning left onto a roadway and there is no traffic signal, drivers must yield to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
  • Roundabouts. Obey all traffic signs and/or yield to all lanes of traffic approaching from your left before entering the roundabout. When vehicles that are 40 feet in length or 10 feet in width are entering the roundabout, drivers must yield to the larger vehicle.
  • Pedestrian Crossings. When approaching intersections with traffic signals, yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. If there is no traffic signal or sign, drivers must still yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks. Pedestrians who are not in marked or unmarked crosswalks must yield to vehicles. If pedestrians are carrying a cane or walking stick that is white or white trimmed with red and is held in an extended or raised position, they must provide at least 10 feet of clearance between the pedestrian and the vehicle.
  • Emergency Vehicles. All drivers must yield to emergency vehicles that are using an air horn, siren or flashing lights. This includes:
    • Police vehicles
    • Fire trucks
    • Ambulances

If such a vehicle approaches, drivers must pull over to the right curb or right-hand side of the shoulder of the road clear of any intersection and must remain stopped until the vehicle has passed or you are directed to move by a traffic officer.

Madison Car Accident Attorneys Are Here To Help

Eisenberg Law Offices’ Madison car accident attorneys are here to help you recover after a car accident. If you think your accident was caused by disregard for right-of-way laws, contact our team right away. We will review the facts of the case in a free, no obligation consultation to help you determine if you have a basis for a lawsuit and potential financial compensation.

Contact Eisenberg Law Offices today at 608-256-8356 or by emailing