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Missouri Sunset

What Are Missouri’s Right-of-Way Laws?

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Posted on March 3, 2024

Close to half of all traffic accidents occur in intersections, including in Missouri. Although some intersection accidents happen in guided intersections with traffic signals, far more accidents occur at unguided intersections such as four-way stops.

Many drivers in Missouri either fail to learn the right-of-way laws, forget them, or blatantly disregard the rules. If all drivers acknowledged and adhered to the right-of-way laws in Missouri it would not only keep traffic flowing smoothly but it would also improve outcomes for motorists and reduce the rate of car accident injuries and fatalities. So, what are the rules of right-of-way in Missouri?

Missouri's right-of-way laws

What Are the Rules of Right-of-Way at Four-Way Stops in Missouri?

Many accidents occur because people at four-way stops either don’t know the rules of right of way, or ignore them. Some drivers wave others through when it isn’t their turn out of politeness or because they feel it’s safer to wait. However, fewer car accidents would occur if all motorists approaching four-way stops in Missouri knew and practiced the following rules:

  • Emergency vehicles always have the right of way at four-way stops
  • For all other vehicles approaching a four-way intersection, the first vehicle that stops at the intersection proceeds first. Then, other vehicles proceed in the order in which they arrived
  • If two drivers stop at the intersection and are going across in opposite directions, they may proceed at the same time
  • When two cars stop at the same time perpendicular to each other, the driver on the right goes first
  • A car going straight always has the right-of-way over vehicles making turns at a four-way stop
  • If two cars arrive at the intersection across from each other to make turns, a driver turning right goes before a driver turning left
  • If four cars stop at a four-way at the same time or in heavy traffic conditions with each lane full of vehicles lined up at the intersection those moving in north and south directions should take turns with those moving east and west

When a four-way stop includes a crosswalk, all motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Other Right-of-Way Laws in Missouri

Missouri has many intersections, including two-way stops, intersections with traffic lights, and roundabouts. It’s important to know the right-of-way laws when driving in Missouri.

  • When a driver approaches a two-way intersection to make a left turn, they must yield the right of way to vehicles already in the roadway
  • A funeral procession always has the right of way
  • When entering a roundabout, drivers must yield the right of way to traffic already in the roundabout
  • Drivers must yield to all traffic when directed by a Yield sign

consequences of failing to yield

What Are the Consequences of Failing to Yield the Right of Way at a Missouri Intersection?

Failing to follow the rules of right of way can cause an accident. Drivers who enter an intersection without yielding the right of way when required bear legal liability for damages if they cause an accident due to their negligence. Failure to yield the right of way is also a traffic infraction punishable by a fine and two points against the at-fault driver’s license.

If you have questions about an injury related to a failure to yield the right of way, contact The Floyd Law Firm, P.C. today.