In Louisville and throughout Kentucky, state and local ordinances govern the right of way for vehicles and pedestrians. Understanding these laws is essential to prevent accidents and determine who may have been negligent if you’re hurt in a crash.
Pedestrian Right of Way
Pedestrians may suffer the most significant injuries in a pedestrian-vehicle crash, but they don’t always have the right of way. In Kentucky, pedestrians have the right of way on:
- Marked crosswalks without traffic control signals
- Marked crosswalks with traffic signals when the traffic signals indicate a pedestrian may cross
- Marked crosswalks if at least one car has stopped to allow a pedestrian to pass
Additionally, blind pedestrians always have the right of way when they are walking with a cane or guide dog.
Motor Vehicle Right of Way
In Kentucky, the right of way is generally given to:
- Vehicles that arrive first at an intersection. However, if two vehicles arrive simultaneously, the vehicle on the right has the right of way.
- Vehicles going straight. For example, when a vehicle is making a left turn, it must yield to oncoming traffic.
- Vehicles on highways. A vehicle entering a highway from a side street must yield to traffic on the highway.
- Vehicles already in the roundabout. Drivers who want to enter the roundabout must yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
- Emergency vehicles. Emergency vehicles with sirens and lights on have the right of way. Other vehicles should move to the right side of the road until the emergency vehicle has safely passed them.
Why It’s Important to Know Who Has the Right of Way
Understanding who has the right of way can help prevent accidents and determine who is at fault in the event of a collision. For example, if a driver goes through a red light and hits another vehicle that has a green light, the driver who ran the red light is likely at fault for the accident. Similarly, if a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and hits the pedestrian, the driver is likely at fault.
In some cases, the right of way may be unclear or disputed. For example, if two vehicles arrive at a four-way stop at the same time and both claim the right of way, it may be challenging to determine who is at fault if a collision occurs. However, a thorough accident investigation can help determine which driver was negligent and who should be held accountable for the crash.
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Crash
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, an experienced Louisville car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, understand your rights, deal with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
At Gray and White Law, we have extensive experience representing clients in car accident and pedestrian accident cases. We understand the nuances of Kentucky and Louisville ordinances regarding the right of way and other aspects of motor vehicle accidents.
If another driver’s negligence caused your car accident injuries, our car accident attorneys will fight for your full and fair compensation of past and future:
- Medical costs. Even with health insurance, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ visits, rehabilitation therapies, and other health care costs can add up quickly.
- Lost income. You may be unable to work and earn your usual wages, bonuses, benefits, or income from self-employment.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Property damage and any other costs you incur because of the accident may be part of your recovery.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. These damages may be hard to value, but they are an essential part of your recovery.
Wrongful death damages may also be part of your recovery if your loved one died in a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident.