What to Know About Accidents in an Intersection

What to Know About Accidents in an Intersection

Dealing with an accident at an intersection can be complex due to different variables – such as crossing pedestrians, turning vehicles, and sometimes confusing signage or light patterns. 

Understanding what often leads to these crashes and who might be liable will help you figure out your next steps so you can seek legal recourse if someone else’s negligence caused the accident. Getting help from an experienced Fresno car accident lawyer can help you proceed with your claim. 

Types of Intersection Accidents

Intersection accidents are among the most common vehicular collisions. Here are some of the most common types:

Right-Angle Collisions

Often referred to as T-bone accidents, these occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another. Primarily resulting from failure to yield right of way or running red lights, these accidents can cause significant injury and damage, given the limited protection against side impacts.

Rear-End Collisions

Intersections require drivers to frequently stop or slow down, leading to rear-end collisions when drivers fail to adjust their speed in time. A typical scenario involves a driver stopping for a red light or pedestrian, only to be hit from behind by another vehicle.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents

Intersections are not just hazardous for vehicles but also for pedestrians and cyclists. Both pedestrian and bicycle accidents often occur in crosswalks or near sidewalks when drivers neglect to look for non-vehicular traffic before proceeding through an intersection.

For victims of intersection accidents, understanding the intricacies of these types of incidents is essential for navigating legal claims going forward.

Common Causes of Intersection Accidents

Intersection accidents stem from a number of causes, with some of the most common including: 

Driver Error: The vast majority of intersection collisions are attributable to driver error. Distracted driving, speeding, and ignoring traffic signals are common culprits. The continuing rise of mobile devices has exacerbated the issue of driver inattention.

Poor Visibility: Sometimes, accidents arise from factors beyond the control of any driver involved. Obstructed views due to poorly placed billboards, inadequate street lighting, or overgrown foliage can obscure a driver’s view of oncoming traffic or signal changes, increasing the risk of collisions.

Faulty Traffic Signals: A less common cause of accidents is malfunctioning traffic signals. When stop lights are out of sync or entirely out of operation, drivers may become confused about the right of way, leading to collisions.

Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and overall ability to safely operate a vehicle. This dramatically increases the likelihood of causing an accident at intersections.

Understanding and addressing the causes of intersection accidents is essential to enhancing road safety and preventing unnecessary injuries and fatalities.

Liability in Intersection Accidents

Determining liability in intersection accidents involves careful consideration of multiple factors, including:

Adherence to Traffic Signals and Signs: The degree to which each party followed traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs is evaluated.

Right of Way Violations: Whether any party failed to give the right of way according to the legal requirements of the intersection.

Driver Behavior: Actions such as speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence play a critical role in establishing fault.

Weather and Road Conditions: These conditions can influence the determination of fault, especially if they significantly impaired visibility or vehicle control.

Witness Statements and Expert Testimonies: Eyewitnesses can testify about the specifics of the accident, which might shed light on elements like traffic patterns or the behavior of drivers.

Expert testimony – like crash reconstruction specialists or medical experts – can provide clarity on causation and explain the extent of your injuries.

Video and Photographic Evidence: Footage from traffic cameras, dashcams, or photographic evidence from the scene can be instrumental in establishing the sequence of events.

When handling accidents at intersections, pinpointing who is liable can ensure the responsible parties are held accountable and fair compensation is obtained for damages suffered. If you need help after an accident, contact us today for a free consultation.

Scroll to Top