Free Consultation
No Fees Unless You Collect
Se Habla Español

Right of Way Laws in Arizona

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Dec 08, 2017 in Auto Accidents

yield sign in the desertArizona has several right-of-way laws in place to help prevent auto accidents caused by drivers who failed to yield.  

Right-of-way laws help determine when a person can proceed into an intersection, enter certain roadways or merge into traffic. They also establish motorists’ duty toward pedestrians and cyclists sharing the roadway.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact Phillips Law Group. Our Phoenix auto accident attorneys can review the details of your claim during a free, confidential consultation. We can also discuss which options may be available for you to recover for the injuries you sustained in an accident.


Arizona has specific right-of-way rules that vary depending on the type of intersection they apply to. This includes:

Controlled Intersections

A controlled intersection is one that has traffic lights, yield signs or stop signs to control traffic. Motorists must obey traffic lights and signals at controlled intersections. However, they should also look before entering an intersection and not assume that the roadway is clear.

When approaching a green light at an intersection, carefully drive through it at a steady speed. If the light has been green for a while, be prepared to stop when it turns yellow.

If you approach a controlled intersection with a yield sign, slow down or stop if necessary and wait until the way is clear before driving through the intersection. Likewise, if you approach a controlled intersection with a stop sign, come to a complete stop and drive through only when the path is clear.

Uncontrolled Intersections

An uncontrolled intersection is one that does not have a traffic signal or light. This includes intersections where the signal or light is inoperative.

Motorists must treat an uncontrolled intersection as if they were approaching a four-way stop. When two vehicles from two different streets or highways enter the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right.


A T-intersection is when two roads meet and form a “T” shape. The driver on the bottom road of the “T” must yield the right-of-way to drivers traveling on the road of the top of the “T.”

Likewise, if a driver traveling in the left lane is on a continuing street while the driver in the right lane is on a street that is ending, the driver on the right must yield to the vehicle that is on the continuing street.

Entering a Freeway

A vehicle that is on an acceleration lane, ramp or other approaching road must yield the right-of-way to existing traffic when merging onto a freeway.


Motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing the street. This applies to pedestrians who are in marked and unmarked crosswalks.

Additionally, motorists must yield to pedestrians walking through intersections when the light turns green.

Furthermore, a motorist must come to a complete stop at any school crossing when anyone is in the crosswalk. A motorist cannot pass another vehicle that is allowing for pedestrians to cross.

Alleys and Driveways

If a motorist is emerging from an alley or driveway, he or she must stop before reaching the sidewalk. Then, the motorist must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrians or approaching vehicles.

Left Turn

Motorists making a left run must always yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. Additionally, the driver reaching the intersection first has the right-of-way unless he or she is turning left.

Furthermore, when two vehicles reach the intersection simultaneously, the one on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right-hand side.


Motorists in Arizona are usually permitted to make a U-turn as long as they can do so safely, do not interfere with traffic or violate any signs to the contrary. However, they must yield to approaching traffic when making this maneuver.

Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles must be given the right-of-way when they activate their sirens and begin flashing emergency lights. This applies to the following types of emergency vehicles:

  • Ambulances
  • Police vehicles
  • Other law enforcement vehicles
  • Fire trucks
  • Other vehicles used by emergency responders


There are several right-of-way rules that must be followed when traveling through or entering or a roundabout:

  • Vehicles currently in the roundabout have the right-of-way
  • Pedestrians and cyclists crossing the roundabout must be given the right-of-way
  • Once in the roundabout, motorists cannot stop to allow entry of other motorists into the roundabout

Contact a Phoenix Lawyer for Help

Right-of-way laws were designed to improve safety while traveling through intersections. Failing to abide by these laws can have serious consequences, including fatal auto accidents.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a right-of-way accident, do not hesitate to contact the skilled Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group for a free, no obligation consultation. We can discuss your claim and the accident that caused your injury to determine if you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering.

We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, so you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.

Call 1-800-706-3000 to schedule a free consultation today. 

Back to Top