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  • Brent A. Couture
  • Tara C. Couture
MELBOURNE INJURY ATTORNEYS

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Intersection Accidents

Hit by a car due to someone else’s negligence?

Traffic accidents at intersections are an all-too-common occurrence in Brevard County as distracted driving becomes more and more prevalent.

Florida Statute 316.123 is clear about how drivers should handle turns in traffic, but distracted drivers often forget to use this critical device, greatly increasing the likelihood of a collision. If it can be proven that the negligence of another driver caused your accident at an intersection in Melbourne or Titusville, a local car wreck attorney could file suit on your behalf and help you recover damages court.

Turn signals are critical, but often unused

Signal use is a basic driving rule. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, drivers at an intersection fail to signal approximately 25 percent of the time. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Transportation report that many drivers don’t understand the importance of signaling at an intersection. NHTSA polls report the following reasons for failure to use turning signals:

  • Drivers don’t want to block access. The driver may mistakenly believe that failure to signal gives him or her greater road access.
  • Others believe signals aren’t needed some of the time. For instance, if no other cars or trucks are visible, the driver may believe there’s no need to signal. In Florida, failure to signal is illegal. Not using proper turning signals at intersections increases driver risk.
  • Drivers say they don’t have time to use the turn signal by the time they see the turn. Unexpected movement without warning to others on the road may cause intersection accidents. The driver is more likely to get a ticket for failure to use turning signals.
  • Some drivers simply forget.

U-turns

U-turns are another common cause of car accidents in intersections. Often, drivers don’t know that by law, the car making the turn must yield to other vehicles in approach from side roads or cars traveling in an opposite direction. A turn may only be made when it’s safe to do so. Though the concept seems simple, the execution often is not. Even a small miscalculation or distraction could cause cars to crash head-on, causing serious bodily harm to all involved motorists.

Intersection hazards

Intersection accidents are common because of vehicle volume or congestion. A higher number of pedestrians, vehicles, motorcyclists, and cyclists increases the risk of such wrecks. Heavily populated sections of Melbourne and Titusville report a greater number of intersection accidents. The following contributing factors add to this type of auto accident:

  • lack of signage, poor signage
  • dim, inadequate lighting
  • aggressive, distracted drivers
  • jaywalkers
  • complex road layouts
  • road repairs, detours at the intersection
  • discontinuous sidewalks

Reducing the risk and retaining counsel

Brevard County drivers can help prevent intersection accidents by staying alert, obeying traffic rules and control signals, following the posted speed limit, and proceeding with care through an intersection. It’s the driver’s responsibility to notify municipal and state government officials of perceived dangers at intersections. The Federal Highway Administration recommends that city, town, and county municipal governments improve signal visibility, increase traffic light size, ensure adequate lighting at the intersection, reduce the need for drivers to stop, and address intentional violations.

To discuss a potential intersection accident claim with a Melbourne car accident lawyer, call Couture Law, P.A. immediately after the crash. During our free consultation, at our Melbourne or Titusville office, we’ll examine the circumstances surrounding your auto wreck and let you know if you have a case. If you retain us, we’ll fight tirelessly to recover damages from the negligent party or parties on your behalf.

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AUTO ACCIDENT FAQs
Out-of-state travelers occupy Florida’s roads every day. Auto insurance policies generally cover damages no matter where the insured driver has an accident in the country. Should legal action be necessary, then you will usually file the lawsuit in Florida where the accident occurred. However, you may have the option of filing the lawsuit in the state where the defendant lives. The defendant may even push for this option if that state’s comparative negligence laws are more restrictive than Florida’s. A car accident attorney can evaluate these issues and pursue a litigation strategy focused on your best interests.
Smart phone use behind the wheel is a well-documented traffic hazard, but you need proof to accuse someone of this negligent behavior. The definitive way to gather evidence of texting while driving is to subpoena the driver’s mobile phone service. It will have records documenting the time of all texts. The assistance of an attorney will streamline the process of requesting the data from a telecommunications company. Additionally, witness testimony could confirm texting activity at a certain time. Police officers sometimes ask drivers if they were texting, and their police reports might serve as evidence.
The sudden blunt force of motor vehicle accidents whips around the bodies of vehicle occupants. Rear-end collisions are especially prone to causing whiplash injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, nerves, and bones. Symptoms, like pain, tingling, reduced range of motion, headaches, or dizziness, may not emerge for a few days after the accident. A medical evaluation as soon as possible after a crash can alert you to whiplash injuries and connect you with appropriate treatment. Medical records will also improve your ability to prove injuries when seeking damages from the responsible party.
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