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Failure to Yield Accidents in Utah

stop sign at an intersection

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and each state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) use stop signs, road markings, and traffic lights to guide drivers. These traffic control devices and laws maintain the smooth, orderly flow of traffic on roadways and prevent accidents. One of the most common failure to yield accidents is a left-hand turn collision. A driver turning left has a duty to yield to oncoming traffic unless they have a green turn signal. 


While it’s always important to obey traffic laws, it’s crucial for vehicles approaching crosswalks and intersections or merging into traffic to obey traffic laws. In 2020, failure to yield resulting in accidents accounted for 6.8% of fatal car crashes. Stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, and pedestrian crossing lights indicate when a driver needs to stop and let other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians proceed. Failing to allow those with the right of way to proceed first is a failure to yield, and it’s illegal. 


Yielding Laws in Utah

Utah’s right-of-way traffic codes outline the state’s failure to yield laws. Drivers who fail to give the right-of-way to the appropriate parties can be charged with failure to yield the right-of-way. Drivers guilty of this offense may spend time in jail and pay a fine. They’ll also receive points against their driver’s license, and their insurance company may increase their auto insurance rates. 


Can I sue a driver that failed to yield in Utah?

You might have legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit if you were in a failure-to-yield accident in Utah. A driver who acts without demonstrating a duty of care may be liable to pay damages to anyone injured in the accident. Duty of care, in this case, means that there was reason to expect the driver to act safely and responsibly, and they failed to do so. Violating traffic laws can be considered proof of willful disregard for the safety of others or gross negligence.


What are some common failure-to-yield accidents?

When a failure-to-yield accident occurs, there are usually one or more common factors present. Common causes of failure to yield intersection accidents include the following:


  • Intersections without traffic control systems
  • Intersections with flashing lights
  • Failing to stop at pedestrian crosswalks
  • Failing to stop when making a left turn
  • Failing to stop at stop signs, yield signs, or red lights
  • Failing to yield at three-way intersections
  • Merging aggressively


What are some of the common reasons why drivers fail to yield?

Some of the reasons drivers fail to yield are the most common causes of traffic accidents, including the following:


  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes the driver’s focus off the roads. It includes actions such as texting and driving or eating while driving. 
  • Driving under the influence. Drunk drivers and drivers using legal, illegal, or prescription drugs have lowered response times, increasing their chances of being in an accident.  
  • Poor Weather. Fog, snow, and heavy rain can reduce visibility, preventing drivers from seeing road signs and stopping when required.
  • Speeding. Exceeding the speed limit gives drivers less time to respond to changes in traffic conditions or stop for red lights and stop signs. 


Common Injuries From Failure to Yield Accidents

Car accident injuries include severe and minor injuries. Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians may receive some or all of these common injuries:


  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones 
  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Scars
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash


In severe cases, failure to yield may result in wrongful death


What types of damages can I recover in a failure to yield car accident claim in Utah?

The objective of a car accident claim is to receive a financial settlement from the at-fault driver. Depending on the nature of the case, failure to yield accident victims in Utah could receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.


Economic Damages

Economic damages cover actual expenses you can calculate. Economic damages include medical bills, repair or replacement costs for damaged property, and lost wages.


Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for accident costs that can’t be calculated. Factors considered when awarding non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and how the accident impacts your emotional and social well-being.


Punitive Damages

Utah allows you to pursue punitive damages in your injury claim if evidence suggests the at-fault driver is guilty of misconduct or deliberately caused the accident. 


Ways to Prevent Failure to Yield Accidents

Increasing the number of controlled intersections can reduce failure-to-yield accidents by ensuring drivers know who has the right of way. Modifying intersections to improve visibility can also help reduce failure to yield accidents.


Education is also another accident prevention tool. The State of Utah uses the Zero Fatalities program to reduce traffic fatalities on Utah roadways. This program educates drivers about good driving habits and provides other helpful information, such as seasonal driving tips. 


How can a Utah car accident lawyer help me to prove fault in a failure-to-yield car accident?

two utah car accident lawyers

Our Utah car accident lawyer can help you pursue a failure to yield lawsuit against the at-fault party. A personal injury lawyer will deliver expert legal services and look after the following:


  • Investigating your accident
  • Preparing court paperwork
  • Notifying the defendant
  • Negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company 
  • Answering your legal questions
  • Calculating appropriate settlement amounts


Your legal team may also present evidence at trial if your case goes to court to prove fault. Use our contact form to request a free consultation or call Good Guys Injury Law to discuss your case today. We fight for you to get the compensation you deserve, and we won’t send you a bill until we win your case.



Facts + Statistics: Highway Safety. (2022).
Traffic Offenses. (2022).
Utah Code: Right-of-Way. (2021).
Zero Fatalities. (2022).