If you are like most in Bozeman that have significant experience on the road, then you likely believe that you have a strong understanding of the state’s traffic laws. Yet many of those who come to us here at Cok Kinzler PLLP often think that those regulations are limited to how fast you should drive and whether or not you are legally required to wear your seatbelt. However, in many cases, simple matters such a misunderstanding over right-of-way can often lead to collisions. If you have been involved in such an accident, you should know what the right-of-way laws in Montana are to determine liability.
One of the more common scenarios where right-of-way comes into play is when you and another vehicle are approaching an intersection simultaneously from different directions. According to the Annotated Code of Montana, if you are in the vehicle on the left, you must yield the right-of-way to the other vehicle. The only exception would be if the other vehicle is approaching on a highway that does not directly cross yours.
If another vehicle is approaching from the direct opposite direction and intends to turn left once it reaches the intersection, it must yield to you if you intend on driving straight through. Your right-of-way must be respected whether you are at the intersection or close enough to constitute a hazard were the other driver to turn.
If you are entering the roadway from a private road, driveway, or intersection marked with a “Yield” sign, you must slow to a reasonable speed that would allow you to stop were you to see a vehicle approaching on the roadway. If none is apparent, you are free to continue on the roadway without stopping.
More information on Montana’s driving laws can be found here on our site.