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Question: as a driver you are legally obligated to ___ pedestrians.
A. recognize the limited peripheral view of
B. scan the mirrors for
C. be courteous to
D. yield the right-of-way to
ANSWER: D. yield the right-of-way to
Who Has the Right of Way?
The concept of the right of way is important to understand since the law never really grants the right of way. The law simply states when the right of way must be yielded. Right of way can be used when the law permits its use by requiring that others yield the right of way to you. Failure to yield the right of way leads to crashes in all states. There are some ways for you to reduce this probability when you are driving however. Right of way must be yielded to other drivers in the following instances:
- At a yield sign;
- To pedestrians in a crosswalk;
- To persons using a seeing eye guide dog;
- To persons using a white cane with or without a red tip;
- At uncontrolled intersections where vehicles are already in the intersection;
- At ‘T’ intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road;
- When turning left in which case you must yield to oncoming pedestrians, cars, etc.;
- When driving on an unpaved road that intersections with a paved road; and
- When returning to the roadway after the car is parked.
PEDESTRIANS AND SKATEBOARDERS
Pedestrians and skateboarders are at high risk in traffic. The law requires you to be extra careful to avoid a collision with them.
When you back up your car or truck look through your back window for pedestrians. Do not rely only on mirrors when children are near. Before you back into a driveway, or out of it, get out of the vehicle and check behind your vehicle.
- if you have passengers that are infants or children make sure:
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Pedestrians are supposed to walk on the side of the road and face the traffic in the lane nearest them. When when you make a right turn watch for pedestrians on your right. When you make a left turn, watch for pedestrians on the other side of the road on your left.
Pedestrians and skateboarders who are legally crossing the road or street at marked or unmarked crossings, like an intersection, always have the right-of-way. You must decrease your speed or, if necessary, come to a complete stop. The elderly and persons with disabilities can require additional time to complete their crossings.
A special right-of-way law allows blind pedestrians to go across the road with a guide dog or a white or metal cane. You must always give them the right-of-way when they are trying to cross at a marked or unmarked crosswalk, even if the traffic signals or other right-of-way rules are not in their favor.
Remember to move your eyes as you drive. Look to either side every few seconds to help you spot pedestrians near or approaching the roadway.
- Obey traffic and pedestrian signals, traffic officers and official signs.
- Use the sidewalk when available or face traffic as they walk, as far from the near traffic lane as possible.
- Never stand in the road to hitchhike or conduct business with motorists.
Left turn – left arm fully extended to left; Stop – left arm extended and bent down at elbow; Right turn – right arm fully extended to right or left arm extended and bent up at elbow
- Never carry an infant under a year old as a passenger. It is against the law. Child passengers ages 1 – 4 years old must ride in attached bicycle safety seats.
- Never carry a passenger unless the bicycle has a passenger seat.
- Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times and do not carry any item which prevents correct control of the bicycle.
- Any bicycle crash that causes death or serious injury must be reported to DMV within 10 days of the incident. Bicycle accident report forms (MV-104C) are available at any motor vehicle office.
Bicyclists and in-line skaters have the right to share the road and travel in the same direction as motor vehicles. They are often hard to see in traffic and have no protection from a traffic crash. Check your “blind spots” before you make a turn, parallel park, open a door or leave a curb. Do not depend only on your mirrors – turn your head to look for bicyclists and skaters and scooter operators that may be next to you or approaching.
Give bicyclists and in-line skaters room when you drive. Reduce speed as you pass them. Air pressure from a vehicle that passes them quickly can send them off balance.
Be aware that the bicyclist or in-line skater near or in front of you can react to road hazards like a motorcyclist would with sudden changes of speed, direction or lane position.
The rules of the road and right-of-way apply to and protect these and other highway users. You must yield the right-of-way to them just as you would to another vehicle. And they must obey the rules of the road just as motor vehicle drivers do.
- Ride in a bicycle lane, if available. Where there is none, they must remain near the right curb or edge of the road or on a right shoulder of the road, to prevent interference with other traffic. When they prepare for a left turn or must move left to avoid hazards, cyclists do not have to remain to the right.
- Come to a full stop before they enter a roadway from a driveway, an alley or over a curb.
- Never travel with more than two side-by-side in a single lane.
- Never ride on a sidewalk if it is prohibited by local laws.
Bicyclists and their passengers and in-line skaters, ages 1 through 13, must wear an approved helmet. Adults must obey any local laws or regulations about helmet use.
Bicyclists also must:
- Signal turns, lane changes and stops through the use of the hand signals shown. A bicyclist can signal a right turn when they extend the right arm straight out to the right.
Should you ever insist on the right of way?
The driver should never assume that other drivers will start or complete any maneuver and should never insist on the right of way nor attempt to force their way into traffic. Drivers should try to anticipate other driver’s actions as well as yielding whenever needed or required by law. Giving up the right of way to other drivers also helps to avoid crashes, as does gaining eye contact with all operators of motor vehicles that come directly into conflict with you. Drivers should attempt to be both courteous and conscientious toward other drivers.
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