Although traffic signals and signs usually provide instruction on what to do while driving, some rules of the road aren’t always posted. Right-of-way laws, for example, are important rules every driver should be familiar with but are not necessarily always reflected in signage. Knowing when to yield and having familiarity with right of way laws is essential to keeping both pedestrians and drivers safe on our roads and avoiding Maine car accidents.
According to a recent news report, a local woman was critically injured after a failure to yield accident. A preliminary investigation of the crash site by local authorities indicated that the driver of a Buick failed to yield to oncoming traffic at an intersection. The Buick struck a pickup truck that was traveling east. While attempting to swerve around the Buick, the pickup truck crashed head-on into another car traveling in the opposite direction. Local authorities noted that failure to yield and speed were likely both contributing factors to the accident.
In Maine, right-of-way laws are straightforward and easy to understand. Generally, when Maine drivers fail to yield the right of way, four demerit points are assigned to the individual’s license. In addition, each offense is attached to a $50 fine with an $85 surcharge regardless of how many violations have accrued. If violations take place repeatedly, drivers risk getting their license suspended.
Right-of-way laws usually are separated into two parts: one concerning pedestrians and the other concerning drivers.
When it comes to pedestrians, they always have the right of way in Maine. Regardless of whether the crosswalk the pedestrian is crossing is marked or unmarked or if traffic lights are present, pedestrians always maintain the right of way, and drivers must yield accordingly.
For drivers, the rules are a bit more varied and specific. For example, drivers are prohibited from passing vehicles that are stopped at crosswalks, cars that are in a traffic circle already have the right of way if you are entering a traffic circle, and drivers who enter a public street from a private road, such as a private driveway, must yield to vehicles on the public road, who have the right of way.
Similar to other states, Maine drivers are also expected to always yield to emergency vehicles if their lights are flashing and indicate that there is an emergency. If you are already in an intersection and an emergency vehicle approaches, you are expected to pull over and allow the vehicle to pass before proceeding on your route.
In most states, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle results in a misdemeanor. However, in Maine, the penalties are much more stringent than the typical penalties or fines of failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. In fact, you could face jail time if you fail to yield to an emergency vehicle. Additionally, if anyone causes an accident when failing to yield the right of way, they can be liable for any resulting injuries through a Maine personal injury lawsuit.
Do You Need a Maine Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or someone you know was recently injured in a Maine car accident involving another driver’s failure to yield, contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Our lawyers will provide you with the guidance, advocacy, and support you need to pursue your claims. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team today, contact us at 1-800-804-2004.