Visitor Question

Who has the right-of-way when it comes to turning left from a parking lot?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Houston, Texas)

I was driving south with the flow of traffic, as I signaled my left blinker to merge into the median left turn lane. I looked for oncoming traffic and saw that it was clear, so I proceeded to make my left turn into a neighborhood going roughly 10-15mph.

Before I was able to make it out of the median, a car from my far right exiting from a parking lot cut through my flow of traffic and directly in front of me, continuing to make a left heading north. I slammed on my breaks and tried to avoid hitting this other car, but there was not enough time for me to do that. My front passenger bumper hit their left side tire.

Who is at fault for this accident? If I was driving with flow of traffic and they were coming out of a parking lot, don’t I have the right of way?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Based on the facts you present, the other driver appears to have been at fault. Inasmuch as you were on the highway at the time of the collision, and the other driver was coming from what ostensibly was a private parking lot or road, the driver should have yielded to you. The driver’s failure to do so appears to have been a violation of Texas Transportation Code §545.155, which reads as follows:

“Vehicle entering Highway From Private Road or Driveway.
An operator (driver) about to enter or cross a highway from an alley, building, or private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle approaching on the highway to be entered.”

If the police were dispatched to the scene, they likely completed a police accident report. If so, the report will likely have listed any traffic citations against either driver.

If the police were not dispatched to the scene, be sure when communicating with the driver’s insurance company you rely on Section 545.155. Reading other sections of the Texas Transportation Code can also be beneficial.

Learn more here: Texas Car Accident Guide

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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