Favored & Inferior Roads

The motorist on a favored street has the right to assume that any driver approaching the intersection on a less favored street will yield the right-of-way. This right-of-way driver can indulge in this assumption until he sees, or should have seen, that the other car has not yielded.

The doctrine of preemption allows a non-favored or inferior motorist who enters an intersection to prevail where there is evidence that the inferior driver attempted to cross a favored street when he had a reasonable opportunity to cross without endangering or impeding the passage of vehicles on the favored street.

A motorist who is about to enter a roadway from a private driveway is required to yield the right-of-way to all approaching vehicles so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. Unusual, extreme and high care toward the favored traffic is required of such a motorist.

Duty of the Driver

Conversely, the duty of the driver on the favored street toward the intruding motorist is the much lesser ordinary care standard and that driver may generally rely on the assumption or presumption that those vehicles entering the highway from less favorable positions such as a private drive will not drive into the path of favored traffic. The presumption or assumption may not be relied upon by a motorist who is proceeding unlawfully before or after he sees the intruding vehicle.

A motorist attempting to enter the highway from the shoulder of the road is held to the same standard of care as a motorist entering the highway from a private driveway. A driver is required to keep a lookout for vehicles upon the highway and to resist from entering until it is apparent to a reasonably prudent person that such can be done in safety.

The driver of the overtaking or passing vehicle has the duty to ascertain before attempting to pass a preceding vehicle that from all the circumstances of traffic, the conditions of the highway and the lay of the land, the passing can be completed with safety. He must be alert to the actions of a motorist preceding him on the highway.