Right-of-Way Laws in Missouri

Drivers often view Missouri’s right-of-way laws as the unspoken rules of the road. However, it’s important to recognize that while right-of-way laws aren’t always obvious, they’re very real. Breaking these traffic regulations brings consequences, such as serious car accidents, tickets, and significant financial trouble. 

The major problem with right-of-ways laws is they’re not always posted, which can easily lead to confusion. Most drivers learn these laws at an early age and never think about them again. This means it’s very easy to forget or have an incorrect understanding of who has the right of way in a given driving situation. 

Right-of-Way Laws Every Missouri Driver Should Know

Have you ever seen a busy roundabout? At first glance, it can look chaotic. If you look more closely, you see the drivers are all acting in concert, with a shared knowledge of who can go and who needs to yield. 

Right-of-way laws keep traffic flowing smoothly, both in roundabouts and other situations. When someone fails to yield the right of way, the result is often an avoidable accident. 


Intersections are common locations for Missouri right-of-way accidents. 

Some of the most basic intersection right-of-way laws to know include: 

  • Left-turning drivers must yield to oncoming traffic
  • At stop-sign-controlled intersections, the first driver to arrive has the right of way
  • If drivers arrive at the same time, the driver to the right has the right of way
  • At roundabouts, entering drivers must yield to traffic already in the circle
  • Drivers making a right turn at a red light must yield to oncoming traffic

When in doubt over the right of way, it’s best to exercise caution. Even if you’re aware of the intersection right-of-way laws, the drivers around you may not be. 


On highways, drivers entering from an entrance ramp must yield the right of way to vehicles already traveling on the highway. When making a left turn across a highway, drivers must yield to oncoming traffic.


Pedestrians in Missouri are supposed to always yield the right of way to vehicles unless they have a green light at a designated pedestrian crossing. However, drivers must always yield to a pedestrian on the road, regardless of whether they’re supposed to be crossing.

Special Situations

Missouri drivers are also bound to encounter special situations in which they should know to yield. 

For instance, you should always yield the right of way for: 

  • Emergency vehicles with flashing lights or sirens
  • Funeral processions 
  • Train crossings when an oncoming train is approaching

Regarding train crossing in particular, remember that you are required to yield any time the lights are flashing or the guardrails are down — even if you can’t see a train coming.

How Missouri Right-of-Way Laws Impact Personal Injury Compensation

Knowing how to determine the right of way protects you from hassle, expense, and any injuries that come out of being involved in an accident. However, knowledge of basic Missouri driving laws goes further than just avoiding a crash. 

Most of the time, whichever driver broke a right-of-way law is deemed to be at fault for the resulting car accident. Depending on the structure of your insurance policy, you could end up in a situation where your insurance pays for the other driver’s injuries while you’re left without accident compensation. 

Staying informed of Missouri’s right-of-way laws helps you avoid the costly impact of an accident. It also lets you know when it’s time to consult a car accident lawyer for help with recovering compensation. 

Protect Yourself After a Missouri Right-of-Way Accident

Right-of-way accidents can get complicated quickly. Knowing how fault is determined in a Missouri right-of-way accident can help you protect yourself financially after a crash. Even better, staying up-to-date on right-of-way laws can help you avoid an accident entirely. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1430 Washington Ave Suite #226 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

Richmond Heights Office
1201 Bellevue Ave,Richmond Heights, MO 63117
(314) 207-4399

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