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Keep the right of way in mind to avoid crashes

People in Illinois know that it's important to be aware of who has the right of way when driving. The rules that govern this distinction, also called failure-to-yield laws, determine who is legally correct in moving first when driving. Understanding who has the right of way can be critical in avoiding traffic tickets, moving violation citations and, most importantly, auto collisions and the risk they pose for serious personal injuries.

One of the most common moving violations on the roadways in the United States is running a red traffic light. Running a red light can quickly lead to dangerous car crashes; in 2014, 709 people were killed, and 126,000 people were injured in accidents stemming from red-light running. Half of those were not even driving at the time; deaths in red-light accidents include passengers, cyclists, pedestrians and others.

Another important issue to be aware of when driving is yielding to emergency vehicles and school buses. Drivers must pull over to the side or come to a safe stop when an emergency vehicle in response approaches traffic. In addition, when a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, drivers following behind must stop and wait. This helps to avoid car crashes with fast-traveling emergency vehicles as well as collisions with pedestrian children entering or leaving the school bus.

Four-way intersections can be somewhat confusing. It's important for drivers to come to a complete stop before proceeding. In general, the driver who arrived first has the right to proceed first, continuing in the same order. Four-way intersections can be a location for T-bone collisions and other dangerous accidents, especially when cars do not stop before proceeding through the intersection.

Car accidents that result from drivers speeding through red lights or four-way intersections can cause severe injuries to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. People who have been injured due to accidents caused by others may benefit from consulting with a personal injury lawyer for representation to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

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