The Guide to Right-of-Way Laws in Georgia

Traffic laws exist to keep you safe. If you fail to obey them, then you could end up in a crash that could damage or total your vehicle, and cause serious injuries or even death. Most traffic accidents occur because of failure to obey the laws as they relate to right of way, so it is vital that you understand them.

“Right-of-Way” is a term that identifies who is entitled to enter roadways, change lanes, move through intersections, make turns or conduct other movements when traffic is present. It is vital that motorists and pedestrians alike understand the laws regarding right-of-way, and it is equally important that you know when to cede right of way even when another person may be legally in the wrong.

Summary of Georgia right-of-way laws

In Georgia, the right-of-way laws can be summarized as follows:

  • If you are travelling toward an intersection, and you are coming up on a stop sign, you have to stop and give the right of way to anyone in a vehicle or on foot who is already there, or who is close enough that you cannot proceed without risking a collision.

  • If there is no stop sign or signal, then you must give the right of way to whoever arrives at the intersection first. If you arrive at the same (or nearly the same) time, then the vehicle on the right has right of way.

  • At 4-way stops, pedestrians have the right of way. Then, vehicles may move through on a “first come, first served” basis. If two vehicles arrive at roughly the same time, right of way goes to the vehicle on the right.

  • Although this is not the law, a bit of common courtesy and good sense can often prevent accidents where right of way cannot reasonably be determined.

  • When you are approaching a “yield” sign, you must slow down, and be ready to stop and give way to oncoming traffic.

  • If you are merging, give way to traffic already on the roadway.

  • Where there are traffic lights, do not enter the intersection just because you have a green light. You should proceed only if you will not be blocking traffic coming from other directions.

  • When crossing a highway or entering from a secondary road, private road or alley, yield to other vehicles and pedestrians already in the main roadway.

  • Without exception, you must yield to fire, police or other emergency vehicles when their sirens are sounding and their blue and red lights are flashing. Slow down, and move over to the side of the road. If you are in an intersection, keep going until you are out of the intersection, and then pull over. You must also always yield to highway maintenance vehicles.

Penalties for failure to yield

In Georgia, if you fail to yield right of way, you will be assessed a three-point penalty against your driver’s license. Fines will vary from county to county, but you can generally expect a fine of between $140 and $225 for failure to yield to another private vehicle, and up to $550 if you fail to yield to an emergency or maintenance vehicle.

For further information, consult the Georgia Drivers Manual, Section 5, pages 22-23.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

How to Get a Georgia Driver's Permit
Georgia Georgia is another state that uses a graduated driver's licensing program, which most states require. This program states that those under 18 must obtain a learner’s permit, that slowly graduates to a full license as the driver gains experience...
How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Georgia
Personalized Personalized license plates are a popular addition to your vehicle to make it your own. They offer a little extra detail that can: Give others a snapshot of what’s important to you Set your car apart in the parking...
Windshield Laws in Georgia
Anyone Anyone who drives a motor vehicle is required to know and follow a variety of road rules to remain safe and legal. However, in addition to those traffic laws, motorists are also required to make sure their vehicles are...

Related questions

Where are the jack and the emergency tools located?
All of the emergency tools, and the jack, are located under the front passenger seat. To access the emergency tools, use your hands to remove the plastic cover at the base of the passenger seat. Then, pull out the jack...
Axle dragging on ground.
There are several components to the rear axle assembly on your vehicle. The GS300 has a drive shaft, a CV axle, and a rear hub bearing assembly. I am guessing your issue is either with the CV axle or the...
Yielding at intersection.
If there is no stop signs or yield signs for either of you then it is common to yield to the person to the right if both of you got to the intersection at the same time. What you experienced...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 ·