Car accidents in Delaware may involve the failure to yield the right of way, often due to driver fatigue, inattention or distraction. These types of car accidents can result in serious injuries like back or neck injuries, head injuries and fractures. At high speeds, these accidents may be fatal.
In this article, our Delaware Car Accident & Injury Lawyers discuss specific traffic laws pertaining to right of way car accidents. For more info, visit the Delaware Car Accident Law Library or call our law firm for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our offices are located in Wilmington, Dover & Newark. (302) 658-1717 (Wilmington) or (302) 736-5500 (Dover)
Intersection Accidents – Delaware Law & Statutes
Section 4132 of the Delaware Code, Vehicle Turning Left, provides:
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Section 4135, Entering or Crossing Divided Highway from Crossover or Other Intervening Space Between Opposing Lanes, provides:
The driver of a vehicle about to drive onto or across a lane or lanes of a divided highway from the intervening space between opposing lanes where there is no official traffic-control device shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the divided highway.
Drivers who fail to yield the right of way at intersections often cause t-bone or side swipe collisions at intersections. This typically involves a driver who is navigating a turn onto a major road or highway in Delaware.
For example, a Delaware resident is driving in Dover and attempting to turn left from a left hand turn lane. The driver fails to see an oncoming car. The driver proceeds into the intersection and thus causes a t-bone accident, i.e., where the driver turning left strikes the driver’s side of the oncoming car.
In the above scenario, the driver turning left into the intersection has failed to yield the right of way. If the oncoming traffic had a green light or even a yellow light, the driver turning left would be liable for the accident.
However, there are situations when fault may be shared or apportioned. Using the same example, let’s say that the driver (Driver A), who was turning left, had edged out slightly into the intersection to navigate the turn. Driver B is approaching the intersection in the oncoming lane. The traffic signal for Driver B’s lane of travel has turned yellow, but Driver B speeds up to catch the yellow light before it turns red. At that moment, Driver A starts turning left and the two cars collide.
Here, Section 4131, Vehicle Approaching or Entering Intersection, is relevant:
(a) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.
(b) When 2 vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
In this instance, both drivers may share at fault for the accident. Who bears the greater share of the fault depends on the specific facts, like speed, lane of travel, distance, etc. How fast was Driver B going just before the collision? What was the traffic signal for Driver A?
Delaware Auto Accident Law Firm – Wilmington, Dover & Newark Offices
Our lawyers have over 60 years of combined experience in Delaware auto injury cases. With offices in Wilmington, Dover and Newark, our lawyers are equipped to handle car accident injury cases throughout the entire state. (302) 658-1717 (Wilmington) or (302) 736-5500 (Dover)
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