Nevada Right of Way Laws and Failure to Yield

September 27, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
Nevada Right of Way Laws and Failure to Yield

Nevada's laws contain detailed provisions about the right of way and duty to yield in various scenarios. Drivers must obey these rules to protect public safety. Failure to comply can trigger devastating accidents that cause injuries of all severities, some that are fatal, and lead to financial losses.

Below, we summarize Nevada's right of way laws, discuss a driver's liability for failing to yield, and explain why victims of failure to yield accidents should hire an experienced Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer to handle their compensation claims.

Understanding Right of Way Rules

Right of way refers to the legal right of a vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian to take precedence over others in a traffic-related situation. Nevada's Rules of the Road dictate who should yield the right of way in various traffic scenarios. These laws apply everywhere in Nevada, including multi-lane highways and boulevards in Las Vegas, residential neighborhoods in Elko, parking lots, and private roads.

Sign board showing the direction of right of way in Las Vegas Nevada

The laws define and establish a right of way to maintain order and safety on Nevada's roads. The right of way, however, isn't absolute. It doesn't necessarily excuse the party with the right of way for causing a collision simply because someone else failed to yield.

Traffic signs and signals define, trigger, and notify the public about the right of way. A stop sign instructs drivers to stop while vehicles pass on an intersecting road. A green traffic signal gives you the right of way, while a red one means you must yield. Ignoring these signs can result in traffic violations, such as failure to yield.

Summary of Key Nevada Right of Way Laws

Right of way laws govern traffic scenarios such as intersections, pedestrian crosswalks, and encounters with emergency vehicles and school buses. Here's an overview of some key right of way provisions in Nevada's Rules of the Road. (For the most up-to-date Rules of the Road, check the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles website.)

Rules at Intersections, Road Entrances, and Merges

Sections 484B.250, 253, 257, 260, and 263 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) include the following rules for drivers approaching, stopped at, or traversing an intersection, road entrance, or merge:

  • A vehicle approaching an intersection must yield the right of way to the one already in the intersection.
  • When two vehicles enter an intersection from different roads at about the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield the right of way to the one on the right.
  • When two vehicles enter a T intersection—the bottom road ends at the T, and the throughway is the top—the one on the throughway has the right of way. 
  • A vehicle intending to turn left in an intersection must yield to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. Once that vehicle starts turning, the approaching vehicles must yield.
  • A vehicle entering a highway from a private road or a parking lot entrance must yield the right of way to vehicles on the highway.
  • A vehicle entering or exiting a limited-access highway must yield to other vehicles on that highway.
  • Drivers must obey traffic signals, stop signs, yield signs, and lane markings even if they would otherwise conflict with the right of way rules above.

Rules Relating to Pedestrians

NRS 484B sections 283, 287, and 290 define right of way rules for pedestrians and include the following provisions:

  • Pedestrians generally have the right of way at crosswalks, and drivers must yield to them.
  • Pedestrians crossing a road anywhere other than a crosswalk or at a crosswalk with a signal directing the pedestrian not to cross must yield to vehicles.
  • Blind pedestrians with a service animal or a cane have the right of way.

A driver must always exercise caution around a pedestrian. A violation of right of way rules doesn't give the driver license to endanger the pedestrian.

Rules Relating to Cyclists

Cyclists in Nevada generally must obey the same traffic rules as motor vehicles.

Motorists should yield to cyclists, as NRS 484B.270 outlines:

  • A vehicle must yield the right of way to a bicycle, electric bicycle, or electric scooter operating in the same lane or the adjacent road shoulder.
  • A vehicle may only pass a bicycle, electric bicycle, or electric scooter if it can do so safely in an adjacent lane or with at least three feet of separation.
  • A vehicle must not block a bike lane except to cross it when entering or exiting a driveway, avoiding hazards, dealing with an emergency, or complying with directions from a police officer.

Rules Relating to Emergency Vehicles and School Buses

Under NRS 484B.267, vehicles must yield the right of way and move over for emergency or official vehicles when their lights flash.

Under NRS 484B.353, vehicles driving on any road other than a divided highway must stop and not attempt to pass any school bus picking up or dropping off students.

Overview of Failure to Yield in Nevada

Failure to yield is not giving another driver, pedestrian, or cyclist the right of way. It occurs in a variety of situations. At intersections, for instance, drivers often fail to yield by not stopping completely at a stop sign, rushing through a yellow light, or turning right on red without checking for pedestrians or other vehicles.

Pedestrians can encounter failure to yield when drivers do not stop for them at crosswalks, and cyclists can experience it when vehicles do not give them the proper space on the road. Emergency vehicles and school buses also frequently face this issue when drivers do not move over or stop as the law requires.

In Nevada, failure to yield is a traffic violation that can result in hefty fines, points on the violator's driving record, and even jail time in severe cases. A driver who fails to yield can also be liable for any crash-related damages or injuries.

Victim's Rights to Compensation in a Nevada Failure to Yield Accident

Accidents resulting from a driver's failure to yield can lead to devastating consequences, including physical injury, emotional trauma, and significant financial burden. Victims of those accidents may seek compensation from at-fault parties and insurance companies.

The driver whose failure to yield causes an accident is typically liable, or legally responsible, for the damages victims suffer. In general, when someone's careless, reckless, or intentional actions violate the Nevada Rules of the Road and cause an accident, the law holds them accountable.

A driver who failed to yield might not be the only party liable for the victim's suffering. Others could share that liability or bear it entirely.

These could include:

  • The driver's employer if the accident happened while the driver was working or driving a work vehicle.
  • A vehicle manufacturer if the failure to yield stemmed from a malfunctioning vehicle part or system.
  • A local government if unreasonably hazardous and preventable road conditions played a part in the accident.

These are just a few examples of how a driver who fails to yield isn't necessarily the only party who could owe compensation. Experienced pedestrian accident injury lawyers examine the evidence and identify everyone whose actions may have led to a crash. 

Potential Compensation

Failure to yield-accident victims in Nevada generally have the right to demand monetary damages from the at-fault party and anyone answerable for that party's actions, such as liability insurance companies.

Every Nevada traffic accident is unique, but an injured victim can usually seek payment for:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Property damage.
  • Lost income, job benefits, and future earning opportunities.
  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Diminished quality of life.
  • Scarring, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function.

If a failure to yield accident in Nevada results in a fatality, the victim's surviving spouse or close family members may have the right to pursue compensation for wrongful death. The damages they might recover could include payment for loss of companionship, financial support, and emotional anguish. They might also receive compensation for their loved one's pain, suffering, and financial losses before death.

Victims of failure to yield accidents sometimes have the right to seek punitive damages for at-fault party's reckless or malicious conduct. Punitive damages punish the offending driver and deter others from behaving similarly.

The types and amounts of compensation the victim could recover vary according to case-specific factors, such as the severity of the injuries and losses, the case a lawyer makes for liability and damages, the lawyer's skill and reputation, and the financial resources (such as insurance or liquid assets) the at-fault parties have to pay damages.

To find out how much compensation you could receive after a driver's failure to yield inflicts harm, contact an experienced Nevada pedestrian accident attorney today.

Let a Lawyer Handle Your Right of Way/Failure to Yield Accident Case

Hiring a skilled lawyer is the most reliable and cost-effective way to secure compensation after getting hurt in a failure to yield traffic accident.

Lawyers understand Nevada's Rules of the Road and know how to secure the compensation you deserve. They are familiar with the legal procedures, deadlines, and technical requirements of pursuing a compensation claim. They can demand payment from an insurance company or pursue a lawsuit in Nevada court, for instance. Whatever your case requires, a lawyer can handle the entire process of securing compensation for your losses.

Attorneys offer free consultations to traffic violation victims. You can speak with a qualified legal professional and learn about your rights. They also routinely represent their clients on a contingent fee basis, meaning they only receive payment if they secure compensation for you through a settlement, judgment, or jury award.

Contact a Nevada Accident Injury Lawyer Today

Drivers and others in Nevada have legal obligations to yield to others in numerous situations. Any failure to comply with those duties can lead to a tragic, preventable accident that inflicts severe harm on innocent victims. 

If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries in a Nevada traffic accident that involved a driver's failure to yield a right of way, you may deserve significant compensation. Contact an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer today for your free case evaluation.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.