One of the most important facets of being a safe driver is understanding right-of-way laws. Right-of-way laws are the laws that govern who gets priority of the road, and who gets to go first when two drivers (or a driver and a pedestrian, etc.) are competing for the same space. As with all rules of the road, it’s important to follow the right-of-way laws, for your safety, for the safety of people around you, and to avoid pricey tickets.
Failure to adhere to the proper right-of-way laws can result in severe accidents and even fatalities. While it might seem like a safe bet to simply be passive and always give others the right-of-way, this too can be dangerous, because other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists need to be able to rely on you to follow the rules of the road.
The right-of-way laws are pretty similar nationwide, but there are a few differences from state to state. To make sure that you are a safe and responsible driver, you should always learn the right-of-way laws (which you are often taught when you get your permit), and you should adhere to these rules at all times. This will make driving easier, less stressful, and most importantly, safer.
The guide to right-of-way laws in each state
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Following the right-of-way laws is a crucial part of being a safe driver. You can keep yourself safe, keep surrounding drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists safe, and keep yourself from a hefty traffic ticket if you take a few minutes to learn your state’s right-of-way laws.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Guide to Right-of-Way Laws and was authored by Brady Klopfer.