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Explaining Massachusetts’ failure to yield law

While the rules of the road may seem intuitive to some, we here at Finbury and Sullivan can attest to the fact that the actual guidelines that regulate how drivers are to share the road can be complex and open to interpretation. Many of those who come to see us here in Haverhill following a car accident are often confused as to whether or not they could be held liable. To help clear up some of this confusion, we’ll use this post to examine the rules for right way here in Massachusetts.

According to Chapter 89, Section 9 of Title XIV of the General Laws of Massachusetts, this is how the principle of who has the right of way on the state’s roads and highways is applied when determining liability following an accident: vehicles already traveling through an intersection have the right of way over vehicles that have approached that intersection from another roadway and been specifically obligated to stop or yield by a stop sign, yield sign, or flashing yellow or red light. Those drivers stopped at an intersection are also expected to yield the road to drivers approaching from another roadway closely enough as to present a hazard when the stopped driver is ready to proceed on.

An explanation in more everyday language may be that whenever one is stopped at an intersection near another car close enough as to cause confusion over who should go first, he or she should attempt to yield so as to avoid a collision. Should one instead choose to be aggressive in beating the other vehicle to or through the intersection, he or she may be cited for failure to yield should a collision occur.

To learn more about the guidelines assigning liability following an automobile wreck, visit our Car Accidents page.

OFFICE LOCATION


FINBURY & SULLIVAN, P.C.
55 Ginty Boulevard Haverhill, MA 01830
Phone 978-374-4736, Fax 978-521-5307

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