Many car accidents in Florida occur at intersections where converging traffic creates the constant potential for collisions caused by driver error. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) describes intersections as “planned points of conflict” in roadway systems. This conflict between lanes of traffic heading in multiple directions leads to head-on collisions, side impact collisions, and rear end collisions. Accidents at intersections account for about half of all serious injuries and more than 20 percent of fatalities, the FHA says.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says about 96 percent of intersection accidents are caused by driver error. The NHTSA also says about 20 percent of pedestrian accidents and 30 percent of cyclist fatalities happen at intersections.
Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and others who are injured because of another driver’s error have a right to seek compensation for their medical bills and other losses. An experienced injury lawyer from the Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., can investigate the crash that caused your injury and help you seek restitution for the harm you have suffered. Call us today or complete our online contact form for a free initial consultation about your case.
Florida Traffic Fatalities at Intersections
Turning left or right or crossing one or more lanes of traffic at an intersection causes a natural conflict that may result in a collision. To make intersections safer, road and traffic engineers add stop signs, stoplights, entrance and exit lanes and other traffic control design elements. Following the rules and remaining alert enables most drivers to negotiate intersections without harm. But when there is traffic congestion and other drivers fail to stop or yield as required, serious accidents occur.
The rates of intersection-related crashes in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties rank in the middle third of U.S. counties while Polk County ranks among the third of counties with the highest rates of fatal intersection accidents, according to NHTSA data.
Traffic congestion at intersections can cause drivers to become frustrated and take unnecessary risks such as trying to race through an intersection when a light is changing to red. Drivers who run red lights and stop signs are a leading cause of accidents at intersections. More than 90 percent of drivers say that running a red light is dangerous and unacceptable, yet one out of three drivers reported running a red light within the past 30 days, according to 2013 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. You and your loved ones are more likely to be injured in a traffic accident caused by a driver running a red light than any other type of traffic accident.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says in 2012, 683 people were killed and an estimated 133,000 were injured in crashes that involved red-light running. More than half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of other vehicles who were struck by red-light runners.
American Traffic Solutions, a company that consults with local governments and sells red-light intersection cameras, says data it obtained through the NHTSA shows that Florida is the third most dangerous state in the nation when counting fatalities caused by drivers running red lights.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says in its fiscal year 2013-2014 summary of red light camera activity that 940,814 tickets for running a red light were issued in 68 cities and communities based on intersection camera data. Additionally, Florida law enforcement officers issued 62,328 in-person citations to drivers who ran red lights in calendar year 2013.
In a report published by the NHTSA in 2010, researchers said cars crossing intersections of all types typically get into accidents because the driver:
- Fails to look (“inadequate surveillance”)
- Misjudges another driver’s, pedestrian’s or cyclist’s intention
- Turns with an obstructed view
- Makes an illegal maneuver such as running a stop sign or stoplight or making an illegal turn
- Has an “internal distraction” (distracted driving)
- Misjudges the other car’s speed and/or gap between vehicles.
As might be expected, many accidents at intersections are side-impact collisions. Side-impact collisions (also called right-angle or T-bone collisions) cause severe injuries because there is less protection along the sides of cars than in the front and rear.
The impact of an intersection crash may cause such serious injuries as:
- Head and brain injury
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injury
- Soft tissue injury (sprains, strains, fractures, etc.)
- Internal organ injuries.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys After an Intersection Accident
If you or a family member of yours has been in a car accident at an intersection in Tampa or anywhere in Florida that was caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, the Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., may be able to help you. You could be eligible to obtain compensation to pay your medical bills, property damage costs and lost wages, as well as for your emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Contact us today by phone or through our online form to set up a free initial consultation. Let us review the specifics of your intersection accident and explain your options for pursuing a legal claim.
For More Information:
- Intersection Safety, Federal Highway Administration
- Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes: An On-Scene Perspective, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, NHTSA
- Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, NHTSA
- Red Light Running, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Florida Red Light Safety Camera Facts, American Traffic Solutions
- Red Light Camera Summary Report FY 2013-2014, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles