Relatively speaking, intersections are busy places, which is why accidents at intersections are prevalent. At some points in the day, they are full of aggravated people who are either trying to get to work or school, get home, or go out. Thus, intersections are extremely dangerous places for everyone — pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, etc.
Not Yielding to the Right-of-Way
According to state law, in the absence of a stop sign or traffic light, drivers must yield to vehicles coming from the right, with the exception of roundabouts. In a roundabout, you must yield to the drivers and pedestrians already in the roundabout, and enter only when there is a gap.
Right-of-Way at a 2-Way or 4-Way Stop
Whenever there are two people who enter a 4-way stop at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the person on the right. For intersections with two stops on the opposite sides of the road, with a crossroads in between without a stop sign, the drivers at the stop sign must yield to the drivers without the stop sign.
If two vehicles approach a 4-way stop from opposite directions and both want to turn onto the same street, then the person making the right turn into the street has the right-of-way over the person making the left turn.
You probably have heard of the situation of four cars approaching an intersection at the same time. When that happens, someone is bound to either take the first move or let the others go. Watch out for aggressive or signaling drivers.
Unsignalized Intersection Crashes
There are two kinds of traffic lights that relate: yield-sign-controlled and stop-sign-controlled. A stop-sign-controlled traffic light gives you a left turn signal in the form of a green arrow, and these are usually found in major intersections. Minor ones will not have that green arrow, or even a red left arrow, which indicates that they must yield to oncoming traffic. Unsignalized intersection crashes occur in yield-sign-controlled lights when drivers have to make decisions about when to turn and go at the wrong time.
Making a Left Turn
The driver making the left turn must yield to oncoming traffic. Only when the intersection is clear should a driver attempt to make a left turn.
Intersection Accident Statistics for St. Louis
According to information as reported to Missouri State Highway Patrol, from 2015 to 2016, there was a slight increase in unsignalized intersection crashes that resulted in fatalities, growing from 9 to 15. Signalized intersection crashes that resulted in fatalities, however, decreased from 2015 to 2016 from 13 to 9, but that’s still higher than it was in 2014 when there were only six.
Who Is At Fault for an Intersection Accident
More than one driver can be at fault for the same accident. Pure comparative negligence means that each party can share partial liability for the accident. You will want to speak directly with an car accident attorney about these laws and how they affect your case.
How To Avoid An Intersection Accident
While it can be difficult to prevent becoming the victim of an accident, there are ways you can drive more safely to protect yourself, your loved ones, and others out on the roads.
- Always use your signal.
- After you have cleared the intersection, turn it off.
- Make sure the intersection is clear before making left turns.
- Even when making a right turn, make a full stop at a red light before proceeding to make the turn. When drivers are in a rush and make rolling stops, they can hit pedestrians.