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When do motorcycles have the right-of-way?

As a motorcyclist, you no doubt have been happy to see more signs springing up in Marion County and across the rest of the U.S. encouraging automobile drivers to watch out for motorcycles. Yet even as awareness increases, there is still much confusion about a key question: do motorcycles have the right of way on Florida’s roads. Following motorcycle accidents, many drivers often claim that the motorcycles involved suddenly pulled out in front of them or that it was their turn to go at an intersection. Understanding what right-of-way laws are in the state may help to dispel this confusion, as well as keep you safer while on the road. If and when a collision does occur, such knowledge may also help support your claim that the motorist was at fault.

To answer the question of, “do motorcycles have the right of way,” we first checked the Florida Driver Handbook, which says that no one actually has claimed to the right-of-way out on the roads. Rather, the law only specifies who must yield it in certain situations. At intersections with stop signs, all traffic is expected to yield to you if you arrived there first.  For intersections that don’t have stop signs, you should be yielded the right-of-way in the following scenarios:

  •          If you were the first vehicle to arrive at the intersection.
  •          If you are approaching a vehicle that is attempting a left turn.
  •          If the vehicle coming into the intersection is entering from an unpaved or secondary road.

When you and a vehicle arrive at an intersection at the same time, you must again be yielded the right-of-way if your motorcycle is on the right and the other vehicle is on the left.

Remember that these rules apply to all vehicles. Thus, you are expected to yield when on the other side of the aforementioned scenarios.

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