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What Is a Failure-to-Yield Accident in Wyoming?

Feb 02, 2024

Wyoming’s Department of Transportation identified a driver’s failure to yield as one of the top five actions that led to car accidents at intersections in 2021. These accidents are not limited to intersections but can occur on any roadway where traffic from different directions comes together.


Sideswipe crashes and T-bone collisions are two common and potentially devastating outcomes of failure-to-yield wrecks.

These collisions can lead to whiplash and other serious injuries, especially because some older vehicles do not have as much protection on the sides as they do in the front and rear. Injuries frequently seen in T-bone and sideswipe accidents include broken bones, head and space injuries, soft tissue damage, and partial or complete paralysis.

What Is a Failure-to-Yield Accident?

Numerous laws, including right-of-way laws, govern the movement of traffic on the roadways in the U.S.

These laws tell drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians who gets to continue on and who must wait for a clear opening when their paths meet at a single point. When one traveler is supposed to stop for another but fails to do so, a failure-to-yield accident can result.

Common Scenarios That Can Lead to Failure-to-Yield Accidents

Whenever the paths of two or more people using the road converge or cross, there is a potential for a failure-to-yield accident. These collisions tend to happen at and around the following areas.

At Intersections

At an intersection, vehicles traveling in multiple directions come together at a single juncture before proceeding on their way.

Intersections can be characterized as controlled or uncontrolled, depending on whether there is a traffic light or sign to help regulate traffic flow. Where these signals are present, right-of-way laws dictate that drivers follow them.

At uncontrolled intersections, drivers must resort to right-of-way laws that govern who proceeds before whom based on the order in which they arrive at the intersection. For example, the driver who arrives at an uncontrolled intersection first has the right-of-way over other drivers and can proceed through the intersection before those other drivers.

Failure-to-yield violations at intersections occur when drivers disregard traffic lights and signs. They can also occur when a driver who is turning left does not have a signal allowing them to do so nor sufficient clearance to do so safely.

While Merging

Drivers who merge from one roadway onto another or from one lane into another must yield the right of way to drivers who are already in that other road or lane.

The merging driver must wait until there is enough space to merge safely before attempting to do so. Once a vehicle has started to merge, other cars and trucks should yield the right of way to the merging vehicle.

At Pedestrian Crossings

A pedestrian using a crosswalk to cross a street usually has the right of way over passing vehicles.

Drivers may be tempted to save time and avoid yielding the right of way by speeding through crosswalks and ignoring signs warning about foot traffic. However, pedestrians may not have the same rights if they jaywalk or cross when they do not have a signal directing them to do so,

Seeking Compensation After a Failure-to-Yield Accident

Drivers who violate failure-to-yield laws and cause Wyoming car accidents can be required to pay compensation to another driver or passenger who was hurt in the crash.

If you are a victim in a wreck resulting in injuries, the compensation to which you are entitled could go toward addressing the following:

  • Your ambulance costs, hospital bills, and other medical expenses
  • Occupational or physical therapy sessions you need to recover
  • Lost wages and earning potential
  • Repair bills for fixing your car

In most car accident cases, you will receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company after you or your personal injury lawyer submit a claim. If the other driver does not have insurance, or if your losses exceed the limits of their insurance policy, you can bring a lawsuit against the driver directly.

Succeeding with a claim or lawsuit will depend primarily on how well any available witnesses and evidence establish the other driver’s fault. Eyewitness accounts from credible observers can be especially helpful for confirming that you had the right-of-way when the accident occurred.

FAQs About Failure-to-Yield Accidents

Right-of-way laws can be more complicated than they appear. To clear up potential confusion, here are answers to common questions regarding accidents resulting from a failure to yield.

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way in Wyoming?

No. A jaywalking pedestrian should yield the right of way to vehicles and cross only when it is safe. Similarly, a pedestrian should wait for the “Walk” sign before crossing the street at a controlled crosswalk. However, once a pedestrian is in the crosswalk or roadway, motorists should yield to them.

Is the Driver Who Fails to Yield Always at Fault?

Not necessarily. A driver may appear to be at fault for not yielding the right of way. However, motorists are not held to unreasonable standards. If another car cuts in front of the driver or commits some other traffic violation, that other driver may bear some responsibility for the crash.

How Are Failure-to-Yield Accidents Investigated?

To determine who is at fault in any car accident, lawyers rely on eyewitness testimony, the position of the vehicles at the accident scene, and the reports of law enforcement.

In a failure-to-yield accident, attorneys may need to consult an accident reconstruction specialist to piece together the sequence of events and identify who is responsible for the wreck.

Talk to a Wyoming Car Accident Lawyer at The Spence Law Firm Today

If you have been struck and injured by a driver who failed to yield the right of way at an intersection, crosswalk, or other location, The Spence Law Firm is here to help.

Our team of highly skilled Wyoming car wreck lawyers can investigate your case and determine whether another driver’s failure to yield led to your accident. If so, you can trust us to fight aggressively to get you the compensation you need. Contact us today to discuss your case with a qualified attorney.

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