What to Know About Wisconsin Right-of-Way Laws

Wisconsin Right-of-Way Laws

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on December 22, 2017 in Car Accidents
Updated on February 24, 2022

yield sign by treesWisconsin has established clear right-of-way laws to help motorists avoid preventable accidents. The rules determine when one driver can go and others must yield. Despite the existence of these laws, many motorists fail to follow them and cause serious accidents.

If you were injured because a motorist failed to give you the right of way as required by law, you may have the right to pursue compensation against the at-fault driver. The Milwaukee car accident lawyers at PKSD can discuss your rights during a free consultation.


Wisconsin has different right-of-way laws depending on the type of intersection.

General Rule

When coming to a four-way stop where there is no traffic signal, all drivers must come to a complete stop. The first driver to arrive has the right of way.

The general rule is that when two vehicles approach an intersection without a traffic signal at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. However, if a vehicle is speeding, it forfeits the right of way.

Left Turns and U-Turns at Intersections

If a vehicle is turning left or making a U-turn at the intersection, it must yield the right of way to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.

Through Highway Intersections

Motorists must stop before entering a through highway and yield the right of way to other vehicles that have entered or are approaching the intersection on the highway.

Uncontrolled T Intersections

When a motorist approaches an intersection on a highway that ends at the intersection, he or she must yield the right of way to a vehicle on the continuing highway.

Entering a Highway or Other Roadway

When a driver is coming from a street onto a highway or emerging from a driveway or alleyway, he or she must yield to traffic on the roadway and only proceed when the path is clear.

Parked Vehicles

When a vehicle is parked and moving onto a roadway, it must yield the right of way of traffic on the roadway and approaching the roadway.

Left Turns

Vehicles turning left onto another roadway, alley or driveway where there is not a traffic signal must yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.


Motorists approaching or driving through a roundabout at the same time as other vehicles that have a total length of at least 40 feet or width of at least 10 feet must yield to these vehicles.

Pedestrian Crossings

Under Wisconsin statute 346.23, when you approach an intersection that is controlled by a traffic signal or traffic officer, you must yield to any pedestrians in a crosswalk, provided the pedestrian is safely using the crosswalk.

Motorists at intersections or crosswalks where there is no traffic control signal or traffic officer must also give pedestrians the right of way when they are in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

Pedestrians who are not in a marked or unmarked crossing must yield the right of way to all vehicles.

Drivers must stop at least 10 feet from a pedestrian who is carrying a cane or walking stick that is white or white trimmed with red and is held in an extended or raised position.

Emergency Vehicles

You must yield to emergency vehicles that are using an air horn, siren or flashing lights. This includes:

  • Police vehicles
  • Fire trucks
  • Ambulances

If one of these vehicles approaches, you are required to pull over to the right curb or right-hand side of the shoulder of the road clear of any intersection. You must remain stopped until the vehicle has passed or you are directed to move by a traffic officer.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

If you were injured in an accident caused by a violation of right-of-way laws, it is important that you reach out for assistance from a skilled auto accident attorney in Milwaukee. We can review the circumstances of your accident during a free, no-obligation consultation and determine whether you may be able to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

At PKSD, we offer a free legal consultation and you do not pay us unless and until we recover on your claim.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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