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Failure to obey right-of-way laws can be costly

Drivers in South Carolina may have heard the advice that good drivers need to worry about the other guy they're sharing the road with. It is a fact that when it comes to car accidents, often the injured party is not the one who caused the accident. Everyday driving encounters at stop signs and traffic lights can lead to serious injury or even death if drivers fail to yield the right-of-way. And drivers who disobey these laws might end up paying high financial costs even if no one is injured.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2014, about 126,000 people were injured when someone ran a red light. Nearly 709 people died, and most of those people were killed when somebody else ran the red light.

Many moving violations occur without anyone being injured, but even then, drivers who disobey traffic laws can be faced with fines or points against their driving record. Too many points on a driving record can lead to driver's license suspension. Committing traffic violations can also cost drivers money by causing their car insurance rates to rise.

Some traffic situations can cause confusion for drivers, which is why it is advised that drivers familiarize themselves with state and local right of way laws. All states have laws that require drivers to stop for school buses and yield to or pull over for emergency vehicles. In most states, pedestrians have the right of way at most times, though in some states the pedestrian's right of way is limited.

If a moving violation causes an injury to someone other than the driver who committed the violation, the legal penalties might automatically be more severe. In addition, the driver may be liable for damages to the injured party. If the driver was cited for a traffic violation after the car accident that caused the injury, that fact may be used as evidence against the driver in a personal injury lawsuit.

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