Drivers entering a road or highway from a driveway, parking lot, private property, etc. have a duty to yield the right-of-way to traffic in transit on the road or highway that they are entering. The rule is expressed in Louisiana Revised Statute 32:124, which states:
The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from a private road, driveway, alley or building, shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or driveway, and shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid collision, and shall yield the right of way to all approaching vehicles so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
La. R.S. 32:124 also requires drivers to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks that cross the point at which drivers will traverse when entering roads or highways.
The Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal elaborated on drivers’ duty under La. R.S. 32:124 by holding:
The driver entering a highway has the primary duty to avoid a collision. This is a high duty, which requires the entering driver to use every reasonable means available to make sure that he can safely enter the highway. The driver must keep a lookout for vehicles on the highway and not enter until safe to do so.
Griffin v. City of Monroe, 46,229 (La. App. 2 Cir. 04/13/11) 61 So. 3d 846, 850-851, citing Neloms v. Empire Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 37,786, p. 8 (La. App. 2 Cir. 10/16/03), 859 SO. 2d 225, 231; Pope v. Prunty, 37,395, p. 13 (La. App. 2d Cir. 8/20/03), 852 So. 2d 1213, 1221, writ denied, 2003-2496 (La. 11/26/03), 860 So. 2d 1137.
If a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle in transit on a roadway when entering that roadway from a private drive and an accident occurs, the driver entering the roadway will be liable for all resulting damages.
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