Mark Roman | July 1, 2023 | Florida Law
Right-of-way laws are the rules of the road that help keep traffic moving smoothly. However, it’s not always easy to remember all the laws that govern who has the right of way in every traffic situation.
Taking the time to review Florida’s right-of-way laws can save you from being involved in an accident. Aside from safety concerns, there are additional reasons that make having a solid understanding of these laws a good idea.
If you violate a right-of-way law and it results in an accident, the consequences can include traffic violations, criminal charges, and financial responsibility for injuries and damages to the other driver.
Controlled Intersections in Florida
Controlled intersections are intersections that are controlled by either traffic lights or stop signs. Everyone knows to stop at a red light, but a lack of knowledge about the right-of-way laws at Florida intersections is common and often results in car accidents.
Controlled intersection right-of-way laws every Florida driver should know include:
- Always stop at a solid red light
- A flashing red light should be treated as a stop sign
- You can make a right turn at a red light unless a posted sign prohibits it
- U-turns are legal if they don’t interfere with oncoming traffic
- Never make a turn that requires oncoming traffic to slow down
- Drive slowly through flashing yellow lights without stopping
- You can make a left turn at a green light only if there is no oncoming traffic
- When traffic lights are not working, treat the intersection like a four-way stop
If you’ve driven for any length of time, you’ve probably found yourself making a right turn on red at an intersection or making a left at a green light. These types of situations most often result in intersection accidents.
Right of Way and Florida Traffic Signs
It’s very common in Florida for the right of way to be dictated by posted traffic signs rather than lights. Four-way and three-way intersections often use signs to direct traffic, as do roundabouts and areas in which lanes merge.
Every driver should be familiar with Florida’s most common traffic signs, as well as how to react in driving situations when these signs are posted.
The most common Florida traffic signs to know for following right-of-way laws include:
- Stop sign: Come to a full stop and only proceed if there is no oncoming traffic
- Yield stop: Proceed with caution and be prepared to stop and yield to traffic
- General prohibition sign: Indicates prohibited maneuvers, like a U-turn or left turn
- Wrong way sign: Indicates driving in the wrong direction on a one-way road
Florida drivers should also know the unmarked rules for right-of-way at three-way and four-way intersections.
At intersections controlled with stop signs, all drivers must come to a complete stop. Whichever driver arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way after stopping. If multiple drivers arrive at the same time, the driver to the right has the right-of-way.
Pedestrians and Florida Right-of-Way Laws
Pedestrians in Florida are supposed to cross only at designated crosswalks. If an intersection does not have a crosswalk marking, the intersection should still be treated as if a crosswalk were marked.
Drivers are always expected to yield to pedestrians, especially when a pedestrian is in the way of oncoming traffic. This includes situations where pedestrians cross streets, driveways, and parking lots.
Familiarize Yourself with Florida Right-of-Way Laws
Most of these laws are common knowledge. However, it never hurts to be prepared by taking the time to briefly review Florida’s basic right-of-way laws. Doing so could save you from traffic violations and costly accidents.
Contact the Tampa Car accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Tampa. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
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Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
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Tampa, FL 33615
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New Port Richey, FL, 34655