Right of Way Laws in Kentucky

Whether you are operating a vehicle, a bicycle, or walking as a pedestrian, it is crucial to understand the right of way laws in Kentucky. Without properly understanding what to do in a right of way situation, accidents are bound to occur. Here, we want to discuss the right of way laws in Kentucky so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Summary of Kentucky Right of Way Laws

The right of way is basically a driver’s permission to proceed or a requirement to wait, depending on the situation. Understanding who has the right of way at various locations, including intersections, helps the flow of traffic and keeps others safe. The basic right of way laws are as follows in Kentucky:

  • Pedestrians have the right of way to cross at any marked or unmarked crosswalk at intersections across Kentucky. It is crucial that vehicle drivers understand the rights that pedestrians have when there are intersections or marked crosswalks. Even if the intersection does not have a specifically marked crosswalk for pedestrians, pedestrians have the right of way under state law.
  • Every driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian must obey traffic control signals when they are erected in Kentucky. Drivers must obey traffic signs and signals, and pedestrians cannot cross the street until they see a walk signal at a marked crosswalk.
  • In the event there is not a traffic control signal in place, or if it is not working, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians. Drivers must also yield to pedestrians crossing the street in their half of the roadway or if they are approaching the pedestrian close enough to put them in danger.
  • At a four-way stop sign, drivers that approach the intersection first have the right of way to proceed. If two vehicles approach the intersection and stop at the same time, the driver on the right will have the right of way.
  • In roundabouts used throughout Kentucky, every driver must yield the right of way to any vehicle already inside the roundabout.
  • Drivers approaching main roads from a minor road must yield the right of way to drivers already on the main road.
  • If a driver is making a left turn, they must yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching straight or turning right, including bicyclists.
  • Drivers are not allowed to pass another motor vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian. The approaching driver must yield as well.
  • Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. Additionally, pedestrians are prohibited from walking in the roadway when there is a sidewalk provided.
  • If a pedestrian crosses the road somewhere other than at an intersection or a marked crosswalk, they must yield the right of way to all oncoming traffic.
  • Pedestrians may not leave a place of safety or curb into the path of an oncoming vehicle that is close enough to be considered an immediate hazard, even if they have the right of way.
  • Every driver is required to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles that have their emergency lights and sirens activated.

Any person who has been injured due to the negligent actions of another driver who failed to yield the right of way should contact a Kentucky personal injury attorney who can help them recover the compensation they are entitled to.