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3.7-7  Statutory Negligence - Right of Way at Intersections

Revised to January 1, 2008

The plaintiff alleges that the defendant failed to grant the right of way to the plaintiff in violation of General Statutes 14-245.1 This statute states that "[e]ach driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall grant the right-of-way at such intersection to any vehicle approaching from his right when such vehicles are arriving at such intersection at approximately the same time, unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer."

Vehicles are considered to be arriving at the intersection at approximately the same time if a person of ordinary prudence, in the exercise of due care, would reasonably believe that if the two vehicles continued to run at the rate of speed at which they are then operating, there would be a risk of collision.  If there is such a risk, then the driver on the left must grant the right of way to the other.

1 General Statutes 14-245 and this instruction do not apply to intersections controlled by a yield sign, a stop sign or a traffic control signal.  In a case involving the failure to obey a "yield" sign, the instruction is governed by 14-302.  If the intersection is controlled by a stop sign, refer to General Statutes 14-301 and Velardi v. Selwitz, 165 Conn. 635 (1974).  If the intersection is controlled by a traffic control signal, refer to General Statutes 14-299 and Rose v. Campitello, 114 Conn. 637 (1932).


This instruction was approved in Peckham v. Knofla, 130 Conn. 646, 648-49 (1944), and has been cited with approval in subsequent cases.  If supported by the evidence, the court should also instruct that arriving at an intersection first is not a test of the right of way, but a factor to be considered by the trier in deciding whether the cars arrived at approximately the same time.  Efland v. Guyott Construction Company, 138 Conn. 183 (1951).


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