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Pennsylvania Right-of-Way Laws

intersection with four-way stopPennsylvania has a series of laws that determine the right of way in different traffic conditions. All motorists are expected to obey these laws. If they violate these traffic laws, accidents are more likely to occur.

If you were hurt in an accident where the other motorist did not obey right-of-way laws or otherwise violated a traffic law, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer for assistance. He or she can explain your legal options regarding pursuing compensation for your injuries.

Call (717) 888-8888 today to schedule your free consultation.


A motorist is required to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is crossing the road while in a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Drivers approaching vehicles that are stopped at a crosswalk cannot pass the stopped vehicle.


If two vehicles simultaneously approach an intersection from different directions at the same time, Pennsylvania’s right-of-way laws may apply. If the intersection does not have a four-way signal or stop signs, the driver who arrived at the intersection first has the right-of-way. If the drivers arrive at the intersection at about the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

There are exceptions to this rule if there are construction vehicles, school buses or emergency vehicles involved, in which case these special vehicles may have the right of way.

Stop Signs

Pennsylvania’s law on stop signs says that drivers are required to stop at a marked stop line or before entering a crosswalk, or at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the motorist has a clear view of approaching traffic. If a driver stops at an intersection but cannot see approaching traffic, he or she can slowly pull forward until there is a clear view of traffic.

Yield Signs

Motorists must yield at yield signs to oncoming traffic. They must slow down to a reasonable speed to determine if it is safe for them to merge onto the roadway.

After slowing down or stopping, the motorist must yield the right-of-way to any oncoming or merging traffic that is close enough to pose a hazard. If the motorist is involved in a collision at a roadway junction after ignoring a yield sign, Pennsylvania law presumes that the accident was caused by the motorist’s non-compliance of yielding.

Left Turns

Making a left turn can be dangerous. If there is no left-turn arrow at an intersection, Pennsylvania laws dictate that left-turning vehicles must yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction. Motorists turning left must be in the lane furthest to the left on the side of traffic in which they are moving unless there is a special lane designated for making a left turn.

Additionally, vehicles making a left turn must signal before they attempt the turn at the following distances:

  • At least 100 feet before a turn when traveling 35 miles per hour or slower
  • At least 300 feet before a turn when traveling faster than 35 miles per hour

Motorists are required to look for any oncoming vehicles or pedestrians before making a turn. If the weather is such that visibility is reduced, the motorist should make the turn at a lower rate of speed.

Get Legal Help Today

If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced lawyer at Schmidt Kramer for help. He or she can gather evidence to establish how the other driver violated right-of-way rules or other traffic laws.

Our injury attorneys offer a free consultation so that you can learn about your legal options without any further obligation. We charge absolutely no upfront fees, and you only pay us if we help you obtain compensation.

Complete our Free Case Evaluation form or call (717) 888-8888 to get started on your claim.