Right of Way: U-Turn Versus Right Turn-Who has the-right-of-way?
Right of Way: U-Turn Versus Right Turn
Imagine you are driving south but need to execute a U-turn to head north. At a traffic light intersection, you get into the far-left lane and come to a complete stop. Just as you stop, you notice another driver on your left facing west (perpendicular to your position). The other driver has their right turn signal on and is preparing to make a right-hand turn to turn north from the far-right lane. Your light changes, and you now have a green arrow. Who would have the-right-of way? You with your green arrow, or the other driver who makes a right on red?
The answer (hopefully) should not come as a surprise. The answer is you and here is why:
According to Florida Statute § 316.075(1)(a)(2) “Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, as directed by the manual, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, except the driver of any vehicle may U-turn, so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement is prohibited by posted traffic control signs. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.”
Essentially, this provision tells us that any vehicle with a green arrow—in this case, you—has the right-of-way (even if you are making a U-turn) to execute the maneuver so long as the vehicle does not have a sign that indicates that U-turns are illegal. The last sentence clarifies that the pedestrians and other people in the intersection supersede your right-of-way during your time with the green arrow.
Now, let’s flip this scenario around. Let’s say that you are now the westerly-facing driver at a red light attempting to turn right to head north, but slightly northwest of your position, you see a driver attempting to make a U-turn. Despite the fact that you may legally make a right turn with a red light, you must yield to the other driver who makes a U-turn pursuant to Florida Statute § 316.075.
A driver who makes a right turn at an intersection while they have a red light must keep a sharp look out for another vehicle who is making a U-turn; otherwise, there is a likelihood that either car would crash into one another. Licensed Florida drivers are tasked with knowing and following the rules of the road such as Florida Statute § 316.075. Next time you are executing a maneuver such as a U-turn or a right-hand turn on a red light, make sure to check and see if there are any other cars that are approaching your lane of travel.
Failure to abide by traffic laws can cause a serious crash on the road, resulting in severe and permanent injuries or even death. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligent failure to adhere to the traffic laws, call Hale Law and speak with one of our experienced accident attorneys today. Your initial consultation is completely free, and all of our legal services come at no cost to you unless we get you paid! Call us at 941-735-4529 or chat with us on the web at halelaw.com.