Road Rules: The Right-of-Way in Wisconsin
Earlier this year, a Pulaski school bus carrying 26 passengers crashed after crossing a four-lane highway where traffic was moving 65 miles per hour. The bus collided with a westbound car which struck the passenger-side back corner of the bus. Tragically, one passenger in the car died. In addition, the driver of the car suffered serious injuries. Fortunately, however, no one on the bus suffered injuries.
The Shawano County Sheriff's Office issued the bus driver two citations: one for failure to yield resulting in death and the other for failure to yield resulting in great bodily harm. Both citations carry fines ranging from $500 to $1,000.
Prior to the accident, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation had identified the intersection as a "problem" and was making plans to eliminate it. Between 2008 through 2012, the DOT reported that nine crashes occurred at the intersection, three of which caused "incapacitating injuries."
Wisconsin, similar to every other state, has various laws that govern the rights and duties of drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motor vehicles. From relatively minor parking restrictions to reckless and drunk driving, Wisconsin's rules of the road are in place to ensure the safe transportation of people and vehicles.
In particular, Wisconsin has rules governing the right-of-way to help prevent dangerous situations and accidents, such as the deadly one involving the aforementioned school bus driver. In that situation, the driver had to “yield the right-of-way to other vehicles which have entered or are approaching the intersection upon the through highway.”
At a four-way stop, Wisconsin law requires that when two vehicles approach or enter an intersection at about the same time, “the operator of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right?of?way to the vehicle on the right.” Importantly, if either driver operates a vehicle at an unlawful speed, that driver then forfeits any right-of-way. Additionally, depending on the type of right-of-way infraction, a citation can carry a penalty from $20 up to $1,000.
Contact a Wisconsin Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was recently injured in an auto accident, an experienced Green Bay auto accident attorney or Appleton auto accident attorney at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. can help. Call us today or visit one of our offices in located in Appleton, Green Bay, New London or Oshkosh. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You do not have to go through it alone.