Connecticut Right-of-Way Laws

Car Accidents On Monday, March 27, 2023

Connecticut has right-of-way traffic laws, rules and regulations that must be obeyed by every road user to prevent motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, not all drivers obey these laws. If a driver causes a car accident by failing to yield the right-of-way, his or her car insurance company may be financially responsible. 

What Does Right-of-Way Mean?

The right-of-way is the legal right to proceed with priority over others in a particular situation or location. At an intersection, the driver with the right-of-way is permitted to proceed across the road. All other drivers must yield the right-of-way, meaning they must come to a complete stop and allow the driver with the right-of-way to proceed. All types of road users have an obligation to obey Connecticut’s right-of-way laws, including drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Who Has the Right-of-Way at an Intersection?

Right-of-way laws are most important at intersections. These are places where two lanes of traffic or types of road users intersect. As such, these locations come with a high risk of collisions. Although every state has its own right-of-way laws, the road rules at an intersection remain generally the same. In Connecticut, who has the right-of-way depends on the type of intersection:

  • At an intersection that has a stop sign, a driver must stop. The driver that approached the intersection first will have the right-of-way to proceed. If two drivers approach at the same time, the driver to the right will have the right-of-way.
  • An intersection that is controlled by a stoplight or traffic signal will give a steady green light to the drivers who have the right-of-way. Any driver faced with a yellow or red light must slow down or stop to yield the right-of-way to drivers with the green light.
  • At an uncontrolled intersection with no stop sign or stoplight, drivers should stop and treat it like a stop sign. Whoever approached the intersection first will have the right-of-way, and everyone else must yield.

At an intersection with a traffic circle in Connecticut, drivers who approach the traffic circle must yield to drivers who are already in the circle. If someone fails to yield the right-of-way at an intersection in Connecticut, he or she may be financially responsible for a related car accident.

When Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in Connecticut?

Connecticut’s right-of-way laws are also important for pedestrian safety. In Connecticut, pedestrians do not automatically have the right-of-way in all situations, even though they are the most vulnerable road users. Pedestrians have a responsibility to yield the right-of-way when they are given the “Wait” signal or red light at a controlled intersection. No pedestrian can leave a curb or place of safety to cross a road in front of a vehicle that is approaching quickly enough to make it impossible for the driver to stop.

Pedestrians have the right-of-way at uncontrolled intersections and crosswalks in Connecticut. At a marked or unmarked crosswalk or intersection that is not controlled by a traffic signal, motor vehicle drivers must stop and grant the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing the road. It is against the law for a driver to pass another vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross at a crosswalk. Any driver who violates Connecticut’s pedestrian right-of-way laws can receive a fine of up to $500.

Compensation for Right-of-Way Car Accidents

It is important for all road users to obey right-of-way laws, as these rules direct traffic and prevent collisions between two lanes of opposite-direction traffic. Violating the law could lead to a serious car accident, such as a T-bone accident or pedestrian-vehicle collision. If you get injured in a right-of-way car accident in Connecticut, contact an attorney to discuss your options for seeking financial compensation. The at-fault driver or party may be financially responsible for your crash.

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