Seattle, WA asked in Car Accidents and Traffic Tickets for Washington

Q: If you are at a stop sign, is it legal for a car behind you to pull out into the oncoming lane to try and pass you?

If you're on a local (non-arterial) street stopped at a stop sign (on a 2-lane road w/no lane lines) waiting to turn out onto an arterial, is it legal for one of the cars waiting behind you to pull up on your left (placing them in the oncoming lane of traffic) to try and pass you without waiting for you to proceed?

What is the best way to handle it if this were to occur (to protect oneself from liability/ticketing in the case of an accident)? In this scenario you are the driver at the stop sign.

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: A Washington attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. From a general traffic safety standpoint, going around you and circumventing the stop sign creates a hazardous condition, however it is addressed by state-specific vehicle and traffic law. You ask about the best way to handle the intersection - maybe a preventive approach - one option could be to try to avoid having to make that turn during times of heavy traffic. If you're waiting for oncoming traffic to ease to allow a left turn, and you have a driver who is running late and in a hurry behind you, that's a bad combination. If possible, maybe explore a longer route that substitutes the left turn with a right turn. Good luck

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