Question: Do Indiana drivers have a duty to look to the left and right at intersections to see if oncoming traffic is going to violate the law by not yielding the right of way or blowing through a stop signal?
The exercise of ordinary and reasonable care does not require the preferred driver to be constantly aware of actions of non-preferred drivers in plain view. A motorist is not required to anticipate extraordinary hazards, nor to constantly expect or search for unusual dangers. The motorist on the preferred road is under no duty to anticipate that the motorist on the non-preferred road, who is stopped at a stop sign, will pull out in front of their vehicle.
The Indiana courts hold that if a driver was not on notice the other motorist was going to violate the law, they have no duty to look both directions on the non-preferred road to see if any approaching drivers are going to violate the law. We noted further that the preferred drivers have the right to assume the non-preferred driver will obey the traffic laws, and they are not required to proceed overly cautiously into an intersection and to be cognizant of everything in plain view. Finally, the Indiana courts have noted that if we were to require the preferred driver to check the oncoming traffic on the non-preferred street, we would probably cause more accidents than we would prevent.