Right of Way Rules in Seattle, WA

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Violation of right of way rules can lead to an accident and may ultimately lead to a personal injury claim. A right of way violation may be committed against another driver, a pedestrian, and/or a bicyclist.

Like any other accident, those involving right of way violations can range from minor to severe. For instance, if you were driving a vehicle and were hit at a four-way stop by a driver who didn’t come to a complete stop, you may sustain property damage to your car and minor injuries. But if you were hit at a four-way stop by a driver who failed to slow down, the injury risk and property damage increases considerably.

One thing to keep in mind is that every intersection contains a crosswalk – some are marked and some are unmarked. Know the rules of the road when you pull up to a crosswalk, intersection, traffic circle, or encounter any other circumstance in which one party must yield to the other.

Right of Way Law Concerning Washington Pedestrians vs. Drivers

Some of the major details of pedestrians’ right of way are:

  • A driver must stop completely for the pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • A pedestrian must not suddenly leave the curb when a car is close and lacks the time to stop.
  • Any car behind a car stopped to allow pedestrians to cross must not attempt to overtake it.
  • Pedestrians should use sidewalks when available
  • Pedestrians are not allowed to cross a roadway or intersection diagonally unless instructed by official or official traffic control devices.
  • A pedestrian must adhere to traffic signals. If none are present or working, the pedestrian has the right of way.

Right of Way Concerning Washington Drivers vs. Drivers and Bicyclists

According to the Seattle government Department of Transportation, some of the major details concerning Washington driver right of way are:

  • When two vehicles approach an intersection, the driver on the right commands the right of way whether in intersections that have a traffic circle, an all-way stop, or are uncontrolled.
  • In a traffic circle, drivers turning left must drive counterclockwise around the circle.
  • Do not drive in bike lanes marked with a solid white line unless turning.
  • A bicyclist must follow the same rules as the driver of a vehicle.


Drivers should take care to open their car doors carefully after parking, so as not to injure a pedestrian, biker, or hit another car.

Options if You’re in an Accident

Washington is an at-fault state when it comes to filing claims against other drivers in an accident. If a driver has harmed you by committing a right of way violation, the driver is at fault due to negligence.

Always follow the rules of the road in Washington because both your fault and that of the other driver will factor into your damages recovery. Your percentage of fault in the accident will be deducted from your settlement or judgment. This is called comparative negligence.

Call the office of Max Meyers Law PLLC at 425-399-7000 or to set up a consultation about your right of way accident.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.