What Are Michigan’s Stop and Yield Sign Laws?
Intersections are an essential part of our roadways, but they can potentially be very dangerous places. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 31% of all fatal Michigan car accidents in 2019 occurred at intersections. Since we can’t just eliminate all intersections, it’s very important for drivers to fully understand the rules of the road regarding stop signs and yield signs to help reduce the risk of car crashes. These laws are covered in every driver’s education class, but as the statistics show, it’s a good idea for drivers to occasionally take some time to brush up on the basic rules of the road.
Michigan Stop Sign Laws
When you come to a stop sign, you are obligated to come to a complete stop. You need to stop before entering the crosswalk or intersection. Though often overlooked, ensuring that you stop BEFORE the crosswalk significantly reduces your likelihood of a pedestrian-car accident. Here’s what the Michigan Vehicle Code (Section 257.649) says about stop signs:
(6) Stop signs. Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is not a crosswalk shall stop at a clearly marked stop line; or if there is not a crosswalk or a clearly marked stop line, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on the highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver would be moving across or within the intersection.
Michigan Yield Sign Laws
Yield signs are treated like stop signs when there are other cars or pedestrians to stop for. As you approach a yield sign, slow down. Check your surroundings. If you need to stop, then treat the sign as a stop sign and come to a complete stop. Make sure that you stop BEFORE you enter the crosswalk or the intersection. Section 257.649 of the Michigan Vehicle Code also covers the rules for yield signs:
(4) Yield signs. The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign, in obedience to the sign, shall slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and shall yield the right of way to a vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver would be moving across or within the intersection. However, if required for safety to stop, the driver shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is not a crosswalk, at a clearly marked stop line; but if there is not a crosswalk or a clearly marked stop line, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.
Who Has Right of Way at Michigan Stop & Yield Signs?
When you look at Michigan’s laws for stop and yield signs, you’ll see the words “right of way.” Very often, car accidents at intersections occur because of a failure to yield to the vehicle with the right of way. So, how does right of way work at Michigan stop and yield signs?
Under Michigan law, if you are approaching a stop sign or yield sign, any motor vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist already in the intersection has the right of way. If you are approaching an intersection with a 4-way stop, the vehicle who reaches the intersection first has the right of way. If it is unclear which vehicle got to the intersection first, the vehicle on the right has the right of way.
If an emergency vehicle is approaching an intersection with their lights and siren on, the emergency vehicle has the right of way regardless of which direction they are approaching from. In the event that a police officer or flag person directs you to stop or yield at an intersection, their direction takes precedence over posted signs.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
Our firm seeks to reduce the very injuries that we so often defend:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Car-pedestrian collisions
- Bus crashes
- And other negligent driving accidents
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence in the Detroit or Metro Detroit areas, then Goodwin & Scieszka is here for you. We are compassionate for your injuries and tough on the person that hurt you.
Again, we want to remind all Michiganders to drive safe, and use their utmost caution whenever they drive. Don’t be another statistic. Check back often to learn more about the law, local news stories affecting our communities, and tips to avoid accidents.