Failure To Obey Traffic Signs and Signals
Over 200,000 people are injured in red-light violations each year. Many of these accidents are not vehicle crashes but involve pedestrians and bicyclists injured, or even killed while crossing at the intersection. T-bone accidents also involve red-light violations where the driver with the green light was partway through the intersection when hit from the side by the encroaching driver.
If someone hit you because they failed to obey the traffic signal, you should seek legal assistance right away. It can be difficult to prove that you had the green light, and the other driver did not. It can turn into a matter of their word against yours. The sooner you reach out to a seasoned attorney to begin an investigation, the better. Contact us online, or call [firm-name] at (212) 779-0057 and let us get to work to secure the compensation you deserve.
Red Light, Green Light
Drivers running traffic lights is a common problem in every city in America. Some cases are simply drivers caught unaware by a short signal or drivers following too closely to stop fast enough. However, the vast majority know they are running the light and the risk they are taking.
At best, running a red light saves a driver a little time. In exchange, the driver runs a higher risk of striking a pedestrian or cyclist in the crosswalk or hitting another car that has the green light. Because drivers who run lights are likely to accelerate to “beat the light,” the collision can be even worse due to the higher speed.
If you are approaching an intersection and have the green light, never assume that the intersection will be clear. Despite an increase in red-light cameras and enforcement, collisions at intersections have been rising for the past decade. Even with a recent dip in numbers attributed to the COVID lockdown, the roads are increasingly unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers at intersections.
Why Intersection Collisions Are Dangerous
When a driver decides to run a red light, they can enter an intersection where traffic is running perpendicularly in their direction. This means that the driver’s forward momentum will impact the other vehicle on the side. Even with modern side airbags and crumple zones, the other driver and passenger have much less protection than in a front-end or rear-end collision. T-bone accidents like this can result in serious injuries for both parties involved.
While car accidents can be severe, accidents involving pedestrians can be catastrophic or even fatal. Because the driver is probably over-accelerating in an effort to run the light, they may not see any pedestrians, increasing the chance of striking one or more of them in an intersection.
Traffic Signs and Signals
Distracted, impaired, reckless, and drunk drivers can fail to see common road markers, resulting in terrible injuries for other drivers and road workers. Traffic signals are not the only road-related guides drivers frequently ignore. Other signs and road markers include:
- One Way Signs —In many cities, downtown traffic is regulated by one-way traffic on alternate streets. Despite signs and signals, drivers still routinely turn into oncoming traffic.
- Yield Signs —Yield signs are often ignored. Some may question the necessity of yield signs. Yield signs and merge signs are essential markers on roads where lanes narrow and widen. Failing to slow down and wait when two lanes merge can cause serious accidents.
- Construction signs —Road construction is an inevitable part of being on the road. Construction crews use orange cones, electronic signs, and concrete barricades to protect their workers. Drivers sometimes still ignore those signs and plow through construction sites while focused on getting to their exits. These types of accidents can cause tremendous risk to themselves, the workers, and other vehicles.
- Speed Limits —Speed limits are posted for specific reasons, especially when considering the location and stretch of road. Clearly marked areas where the speed limit decreases are for the protection of drivers and pedestrians alike. These include school zones, residential areas, hospitals, and curving roads. Failing to obey the posted limits is hazardous and against the law.
- Stop Signs —Running stop signs are a common traffic violation that can cause serious injuries. Running a stop sign can have very similar effects to running a red light.
Every Driver’s Responsibility
Even if you were crossing the intersection as a pedestrian or had the green light, you could still be partially at fault if a red-light runner hit you. Every driver, cyclist, and pedestrian is responsible for being conscientious when on the road. As a pedestrian, look both ways before you step off the curb. Don’t assume a car will stop if you see it heading for the intersection at high speed.
While waiting for the green light, wait a second before moving through the intersection. If you see someone trying to beat the light, let them. Having an accident is not worth maintaining the right of way. Wait for the person in a hurry to run the light if they are not slowing down. Even if you’re obeying the signs and signals, being a defensive driver who is aware of your surroundings can help you avoid accidents.
How We Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a car accident with someone who ran a red light or disobeyed a traffic sign, contact [firm-name] as soon as possible to learn what your options are. There is a limited time to file a personal injury claim, so don’t wait to talk to our knowledgeable legal team about the accident.
Contact us online, or call [firm-name] at (212) 779-0057 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your situation. Our legal team is here to defend your right to compensation while you focus on healing and recovering from the accident. We’re ready to help; reach out today.