The Guide to Right-of-Way Laws in Maryland

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Right-of-way laws are in place to provide people with the guidance they need to know how to react in the presence of other drivers or pedestrians. They determine who should have the right of way, and who should yield it in a variety of different driving scenarios.

No one should ever think that they automatically have the right of way. There are many scenarios that can occur in traffic, and the most important thing is to make sure that you don't cause an accident. That means that, at times, you are going to have to yield the right of way.

Summary of right-of-way laws in Maryland

The laws regarding the right of way in Maryland are simple and succinct.

Intersections

  • In an intersection, you must give the right of way to the driver who gets there first. If you are unsure, yield the right of way to the other driver. If you both get to the intersection at the same time, the driver on the right had the right of way.

  • If you are turning left, then traffic that is facing you has the right of way.

  • Anyone who is already in the intersection has the right of way.

Pedestrians

  • Pedestrians are required by law to obey traffic signals, and can be fined just the same as motorists if they fail to do so. However, because a driver of a motor vehicle is far less vulnerable, he or she should give the pedestrians the right of way, even if the pedestrian is in the wrong. Essentially, you may as well not worry about whether a pedestrian has a legal right to cross or not –all you have to do is make sure you don’t strike a pedestrian. Let law enforcement worry about penalizing pedestrians for jaywalking.

  • You should, of course, be particularly alert to blind pedestrians, who can be identified by white canes, guide dogs, or assistance from sighted people.

Emergency vehicles

  • Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles always have the right of way, assuming that they are using their sirens and flashing lights.

  • If an emergency vehicle is approaching, you are required by law to get out of the way. If you are in an intersection, proceed and then pull over on the other side. If you are not in an intersection, pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so.

Common misconceptions about the right-of-way laws in Maryland

Drivers always fear the accumulation of points on their license, and may panic over moving violations like failure to yield. The fact is, though, you will have to accumulate between 8 and 11 points before you are in danger of suspension, and failure to yield is only going to earn you 1 point. So pull back, regroup, and try to drive more responsibly – you are not in trouble just yet. You will be assessed a fine of $90, though.

For more information, consult the Maryland Driver's Manual Section III. B page 8-9, VII.A-B page 28.


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Bernie

50 years of experience
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Bernie
50 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I specifically asked for Bernie to come back, since I was so pleased with the work he did on our other car. This time I got to meet Bernie personally. He is a kind family-man who exhibited the quiet confidence of someone you would expect with the 50 years of automotive experience that he has. I felt very comfortable giving him the key to my car. Two of my kids (ages two and four) came out to greet him, since they remembered him from his first visit. Bernie is great around kids and was very kind to my two-year old son who was trying to "help" Bernie do his job. Thanks again, Bernie!
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I was very pleased with Bernie's work, professionalism, and courteousness. Best brake job I have ever had, and I have had many done (and several done myself, but not on this vehicle). This was a maintenance appointment -- not a repair of something broken -- so I was surprised when the brakes felt so much better after Bernie did the work. You can really see the care he took with our vehicle when I examined everything after he was finished. Thanks, Bernie!

Daniel

9 years of experience
17 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Sacramento, California
Awesome customer service. On time and answered my questions with patience. Listened to my concerns and made helpful suggestions. Seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I will be glad to request him again. Thank you!!

Breck

18 years of experience
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Breck
18 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Conroe, Texas
Breck was awesome! He called ahead of time and asked if he could arrive early. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable with the service he was going to provide and explained things clearly to me. He smiled and made this experience a good one. I will absolutely be booking future appointments with Breck and I will recommend him and Your Mechanic services to others I know. Thank you!

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19 years of experience
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Brian
19 years of experience
BMW Z4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Brian knows what he is doing and I am so happy yourmechanic.com suggested him for my Z4 car inspection prior to purchasing and even happier he was available to perform my 1st service on the vehicle I purchased. His knowledge on the brand gave him ability to to an in depth inspection and he communicated very well informing me what to prepare for in ownership of my BMW. When he came to perform maintenance on my vehicle he shared so many tips with me. I will absolutely be having Brian come back out when I need future servicing on my car.

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