The Cost of Failing to Yield

Accidents caused by a driver failing to yield happen a lot. Oftentimes, these drivers are entering the highway from a private road or driveway. The law states:

The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from a private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles lawfully approaching on said highway.

Last weekend, a Bellingham man was killed after a car pulled out of a parking lot and slammed into him, failing to yield.

In addition to the driver’s negligence, sometimes there are also claims against the landowner (if the landowner created an obstruction that made it difficult for exiting drivers to see oncoming   traffic.

The Hurt Report includes a lot of interesting observations about motorcycle accidents:

  • Approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile.
  • In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
  • The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.

Some collisions are entirely the result of driver inattention.  But most accidents are the result of several factors.  Unless the driver has millions of dollars of insurance, it usually makes sense to investigate whether there were other factors (besides driver error) involved.

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