What Do I Do at a Yield Sign in Florida? What are the Rules?
Bill Allen | March 31, 2021 | Florida Law
Knowing the rules of the road in Florida is the key to driving safely and avoiding traffic tickets. One such rule that people often wonder about is their responsibilities at yield signs. What does it mean to yield, and what happens if you fail to yield?
Yield signs are different from stop signs and stop lights, which require you to stop whether other vehicles are present or not. Instead, a yield sign means you only need to come to a full stop if there is traffic present.
However, that doesn’t mean you should speed through a yield sign if you think you are all clear. It can be difficult to see smaller cars and motorcycles when approaching a yield sign. Therefore, you should slow down and carefully observe the flow of traffic on the road you are trying to enter. You may legally enter the roadway after you are certain that there is no oncoming traffic in your way.
In some cases, you might also see a yield sign near a pedestrian crosswalk. State law requires you to yield the right of way to pedestrians attempting to cross the street. This means you may need to stop if someone is trying to cross the road. However, you don’t have to yield if there are no pedestrians present.
Penalties for Failing to Yield
The Florida traffic code is crystal clear on what drivers need to do when they come to a yield sign and what can happen if they fail to do so. The law states that you could get a noncriminal, moving violation ticket if you fail to yield.
If you hit a vehicle or a pedestrian in an intersection, it will be considered prima facie evidence of your failure to yield. This can raise the amount of your ticket. Likewise, it can open you up to liability to accident victims.
If a jury finds that you negligently caused an accident by failing to yield, you could be held financially responsible for accident victims’ damages. The best way to avoid such legal headaches is to follow the law and yield when you come to a yield sign.
What You Should Do If Another Driver Fails to Yield
If you have the right of way and another driver fails to yield, do everything in your power to avoid an accident. This may mean slowing down or allowing the other driver to cut you off. Avoiding unnecessary damage to your car and injury to you or your passengers is your number one priority when driving.
However, in some cases, a driver who fails to yield could cause an unavoidable collision with your vehicle. In this case, you should seek medical attention immediately. By reporting the accident and giving the police the information they need for their accident report, you will be on your way to receiving the compensation you are due.
It might also be a good idea to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer who can defend you against quick, low-ball settlement offers from insurance companies. When another driver is clearly at fault for an accident, an insurance company will try to get the matter settled for as little as possible. Once you accept an offer, additional compensation will not be possible.
Talk to a lawyer to make sure you are getting all the money you deserve.
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