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Favored Motorist

Favored Versus Non-favored Motorists

As noted in previous articles, there are innumerable examples of circumstances confronting motorist on the roadways, right of ways and favored motorist status is another such example.  Considerations of which motorist has the right of way occur on public streets, at intersections, in parking lots, private drives, at red lights, stop signs and so on.  Generally speaking, the motorist travelling on the favored roadway is entitled to assume that the motorist travelling on the disfavored roadway will obey the law and yield the right of way.  However, the assumption adverse to the disfavored motorist does not apply if the favored motorist is proceeding unlawfully before or after seeing the disfavored motorist.   The burden is on the disfavored motorist to prove the favored motorist was speeding or engaging in some other substandard conduct.  In this regard, the disfavored motorist has the right to assume the favored motorist is obeying the speed limit or otherwise operating the vehicle in a reasonable and prudent manner. 

Right of way issues are implicated at intersections with stop signs, stop lights and intersections with no traffic control devices such as private driveways.  Obviously, a motorist entering from a private driveway must yield the right of way to motorists on the road.  At intersections controlled by traffic control, a motorist does not fully discharge his duty by stopping.  Rather, a motorist has a duty to not only stop but to also make sure after stopping that it is safe to proceed.  Likewise, a green light does not give a motorist the carte blanche right to cross the intersection….even with a green light a motorist cannot disregard possible dangers. 

Right of way issues are also implicated in parking lots.  A high degree of care is imposed on a motorist backing from a parking space to ensure that the maneuver can be safely accomplished.  In this regard, the backing motorist must yield the right of way to motorist traversing the parking lot.

Another such example is the “waving” motorist.  We have all encountered the waving motorist that holds up right of way traffic while attempting to wave another motorist to proceed.  What waving motorist do not realize is that by doing so they subject themselves to liability.  In other words, should an accident ensue due to a waving motorist signaling the coast was clear when it was not, the waving motorist could be liable to all involved. 

Nearly 75 years ago my father, J. Minos Simon, began the family tradition of providing exemplary legal services to the citizens throughout the local communities and the state of Louisiana.  A tradition that I proudly embraced and have tried to fulfill for nearly 30 years.  Simon Law Offices, Cajun Strong, and rebuilding lives throughout Louisiana one client at a time.