Intersections are one of the most common locations for serious traffic accidents. These accidents usually occur when a driver fails to yield the right of way to other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Failing to adhere to traffic laws is a form of negligence, and negligent drivers may be held liable for the accidents they cause. Any person who is injured at an intersection due to the negligence of a driver, whether the driver, a passenger, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian, may have cause for legal action.
Intersection collisions can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of intersection accidents include the following:
Speeding – A motorist who is driving above the designated speed limit is already exercising reckless driving behavior and may be less likely to notice a red light or pedestrians crossing the street. Speeding also makes it more difficult for a motorist to stop in time for a red light or to prevent an accident from occurring.
Distracted driving – Drivers who take their eyes off the road decrease their ability to be fully aware of their surroundings, not to mention traffic signals. Talking on a cell phone, sending or reading a text message, reaching in the backseat, changing the radio, adjusting a GPS, and other actions affect an individual’s driving abilities on cognitive, visual, and manual levels.
Driver fatigue – While driver fatigue is more of a concern among large commercial truck drivers, small passenger vehicle drivers and motorcycles are also known to be on the road for several consecutive hours. Driving while fatigued lowers a person’s reaction time and their ability to make safe decisions while driving.
Poor intersection design – Intersections have been known to lack clear signage and adequate lane markings or designated space. The governing entity responsible for designing and maintaining an intersection could be held liable if an accident is caused because of poor visibility, dangerous road conditions, or overall inadequate intersection design.
Drunk driving – Motorists who operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol do a huge disservice to others on the road. Drunk driving significantly affects a driver’s perception and ability to control a vehicle, and can lead to an accident.
Vehicle defects – If a vehicle has a defective brake system or is operating with a faulty tire or another auto part defect, even the most experienced and cautious driver may not be able to prevent an intersection crash.
Liability in accidents involving a failure to yield is not always clear and it can be difficult to determine who is at fault. It is common for a driver to be negligent for failing to yield the right of way, while another driver involved is also at fault to some degree, such as attempting to proceed through an intersection late on a yellow light.
Determining fault can be even more difficult when those involved in an accident or those who witness the accident give conflicting information to police. Some intersection collisions become a matter of he said – she said and insurance companies quickly cast the blame away from their insured and deny a claim.
Liability must be always thoroughly investigated. It is a good idea to take photographs and obtain witness information at the scene of the accident. When liability is disputed, current technology allows for review of intersection photography & video, and any video footage from local security cameras.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an intersection accident, contact The Scalora Law Group for a free legal consultation. We are experienced in handling intersection accident cases and have an established track record getting compensation for victims of intersection accident injuries. Contact us today at 860-344-9051 or fill out our contact form to have an attorney contact you back immediately.