DRIVER ON ARTERIAL APPROACHING INTERSECfION: LOOKOUT; RIGHT OF WAY; FLASHING YELLOW SIGNAL
While a driver upon a through highway may assume (until the contrary becomes apparent or in the exercise of ordinary care should be apparent) that other users of the highway will obey the statutory rules of the road to stop and yield the right of way, a driver must, nevertheless, use ordinary care to maintain a reasonably careful lookout for vehicles entering upon such through highway so as to enable the driver to take reasonable precautions to avoid injury to the driver or others.
The user of a through highway, having the right to assume the driver on an intersecting highway will stop and yield the right of way, is not bound to so reduce speed at each intersection as to be able to stop at any time it becomes apparent that the other driver is not stopping. Such a requirement would defeat the purpose of the through highway. When the operator of the vehicle on a through highway observes that the operator of the vehicle on an intersecting highway is not going to yield the right of way, then the driver on the through highway is under a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid collision or injury, even though the other driver is in the wrong in his or her course of conduct. (A flashing yellow traffic signal is intended to warn the driver on the through highway of the presence of an intersecting highway which carries an unusual amount of traffic. While the driver on the through highway is not required to stop for such a signal, the driver, to measure up to the standard of ordinary care, must use a higher degree of vigilance before entering upon and crossing such an intersection than would be required at an intersection at which there was no flashing yellow signal.)
This instruction and comment were approved in 1974. The comment was reviewed without change in 1989. Editorial changes were made in 1992 to address gender references in the instruction. No substantive changes were made to the instruction.
See Wis JI-Ovill030, Right to Assume Due Care by Highway Users, and Wis JI-Civill191, Duty of Driver Entering Intersection with Green Light in his Favor.
As to the duty of the driver on the arterial highway to the driver on the nonarterial highway, see generally LundQuist v. Western Casualty &: Sur. Co., 30 Wis.2d 159, 163, 140 N.W.2d 241 (1966); Schlueter v. Grady, 20 Wis.2d 546,553-55,123 N.W.2d 458 (1963); Gaspord v. Hecht, 13 Wis.2d 83,87,108 N.W.2d 137 (1961). The motorist on the arterial highway may have to stop even though he has the right of way. Seitz v. Seitz, 35 Wis.2d 287, 298, 151 N.W.2d 86 (1%7).
As to the duty of the driver on a through highway when the driver observes that the driver of the vehicle on an intersecting highway is not going to yield the right of way, see Ashley v. American Auto Ins. Co., 19 Wis.2d 17,21,119 N.W.2d 359 (1963); Lawrence v. E. W. Wylie Co., 267 Wis. 239,244,64 N.W. "¬820 (1954); Roeske v. Schmitt, 266 Wis. 557,569, 64 N.W.2d 394 (1954).
A driver approaching a flashing yellow light or an arterial highway must exercise a higher degree of caution than is required of an arterial driver approaching an intersection without such signal. Ide v. Wamser, 22 Wis.2d 325, 332, 126 N.W.2d 59 (1964).
©1992, Regents, Univ. of Wis.
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