Intersection car accident lawsuits are often complex due to the various parties that could be at fault. In these types of accidents, it’s not always clear who is responsible. The driver who was hit may share some responsibility, or both drivers involved in the accident could be equally to blame. We suggest consulting with an experienced Port Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer for more information about your rights and options moving forward.
The Most Common Causes of Intersection Collisions
The following are some of the most frequent reasons for intersection accidents:
Ignoring stop sign/red light – When a motorist drives straight into oncoming traffic after disregarding a stop sign or red light, it’s an extremely hazardous situation. If a driver is going in the opposite direction, he or she is almost certainly driving too fast to respond in time. The result may be a fatal vehicle accident.
Rushing through a yellow light – When drivers see a yellow light, they believe it’s time to accelerate. A yellow light is, however, a notification to reduce speed. Trying to dash through a yellow light raises the likelihood of an accident at the intersection.
Prohibited right turns – You should never turn right at an intersection that has a sign prohibiting it. Making this type of maneuver is incredibly dangerous and often results in collisions.
If a right turn is allowed on a red light, the driver shouldn’t hinder traffic in order to make this turn. If the driver turns without having a clear way to go about it, they’re putting other drivers at an increased risk of collision.
Distracted driving – If a driver is distracted by something else while driving, it increases the chances of them making mistakes and getting into an accident–which is one of leading causes of car accidents.
Failure to observe the right-of-way – Drivers should always obey right-of-way rules to avoid causing car accidents. Learn more about right-of-way rules below.
Right-of-Way Rules at an Intersection
It is imperative that all drivers follow traffic rules to avoid accidents, especially at busy intersections. There are specific right-of-way rules in place to ensure the safety of all motorists, and failure to adhere to these guidelines could result in a serious or even fatal collision.
Here are examples of right-of-way rules for all drivers:
Controlled intersections – These intersections have stop signs, traffic lights, and yield lights to help motorists move in an orderly fashion. Motorists must yield to drivers who already have the right-of-way.
Intersections without traffic signals – The cars currently at the intersection have priority. If two drivers arrive at the same time, the car on the right side has precedence.
Intersections featuring multiple-lane roads – On a multiple lane road, motor vehicles have the right of way. A motorist on a one-lane street must yield.
Types of Intersection Car Accidents in Florida
T-Bone or Side-Impact Collisions – A side-impact collision happens when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another, at about a 90-degree angle. This might result in catastrophic injuries to someone riding in the car that is hit on the passenger side. This type of car accident typically happens when a motorist is distracted, fails to give right-of way, or runs through a red light.
Read-End collisions – Rear-end collisions are a typical occurrence on the road. They mostly happen when drivers fail to pay attention to their surroundings or follow too closely behind another car leading to them being unable to properly slow down in time.
Head-On Collisions – This accident often happens when a driver makes an illegal left turn at an intersection. Sadly factors such as speed can easily cause a head-on collision to be fatal.
Left-Turn Accidents – When a vehicle turning left at an intersection hits a car going straight, it’s usually the driver’s fault who was turning since they have to yield to oncoming traffic.
Tips to Prevent Intersection Accidents in Florida
Never switch lanes when you’re close to an intersection – If a driver changes lanes while driving through an intersection, they may not have enough time to do so safely especially if the light turns red. This could lead to a sideswipe crash.
Never assume that you have the right of way, even if it appears to be your turn – Always double-check for pedestrians or other drivers who may not be obeying traffic signals.
Pay attention to your surroundings – At intersections, be aware of any cars that might unexpectedly pull out in front of you. Keep cell phones or anything else that could take your focus off the road away from you. A split second is all it takes for a driver to cause a fatal accident.
Intersections with no lights should be approached with caution – Without functioning streetlights, drivers must consider this kind of junction a four-way stop. Not all drivers are aware of how four-way stops operate. Watch for other vehicles attempting to make a quick turn into the intersection without signaling or stopping first.
Look out for pedestrians and other vehicles – Traffic lights may confuse young children and cause them to dash into the street unpredictably. Young children may not fully understand traffic signals and dart unexpectedly into the road. Make sure your path is safe before you turn or advance.
Always be on the lookout for surprises and remain alert at all times – Other road users may speed, wander into an intersection, or switch lanes suddenly.
How is Fault Determined at an Accident at an Intersection?
It is not always easy to tell who is at fault in an car accident, especially if it happens at an intersection. In most cases, though, fault is usually determined by who had the right-of-way. Sometimes, the vehicle with the right-of-way can also be at fault for not noticing the other motorist.
What to Do If Involved in an Intersection Car Accident in Port Charlotte, Florida
In the majority of cases, deciding who is responsible for an accident at an intersection comes down to what those involved say happened and evidence at the scene. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an auto accident the experienced attorneys at FGB Law Firm are prepared to help you navigate the legal process each step of the way to get the maximum compensation you deserve. Call (941) 979-9010 or complete our online consultation form, we fight for you to get the justice you deserve in your personal injury case.