Many car accidents occur at intersections on city and rural roads in California. Even though drivers may be traveling at slower speeds at a traffic light or stop sign, victims still suffer long-term injuries or death in these preventable collisions.
If a family member or you were injured in an intersection auto crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, you will need to prove that another driver was to blame for the collision in order to recover damages from their insurance company. Understanding why these wrecks occur can help you pinpoint the cause of yours.
Top Causes of Car Crashes at Intersections
Traffic lights and traffic signs are designed to prevent accidents. When a collision occurs at an intersection, it is often due to a driver’s negligence and violation of basic traffic laws. Here are the most common reasons they happen:
- Following too closely. All drivers have a duty to maintain a safe distance from the motor vehicle in front of them. Many rear-end collisions occur at intersections when the driver in the rear is following too closely and cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- Driving too fast. When a motorist speeds, it will take them longer to slow down and stop their vehicle, which can make it impossible to avoid a crash. In addition, the victim’s injuries are much more likely to be catastrophic or fatal.
- Failing to yield. One of the most basic traffic laws is the duty to yield at stop signs, four-way stops, and traffic lights. However, many drivers who are to blame for an intersection accident fail to obey these right-of-way rules.
- Trying to beat a light. Reckless motorists can cause a dangerous accident if they speed to try to beat a yellow or red light.
- Distracted driving. A driver can fail to see a traffic light turn to red or yellow or not notice another vehicle that has the right-of-way at a stop sign or four-way stop when they are talking on a cellphone, texting, reading a GPS, or eating and drinking.
- Intoxication. If a motorist is intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use, they can cause an intersection collision by driving recklessly, disobeying traffic signals or stop signs, or engaging in other unsafe driving practices.
- Not checking for obstructions. Drivers must carefully look before proceeding at an intersection when there are obstructions blocking their view. If they don’t do this, they may not see another motorist who has the right of way before it is too late to avoid an accident.
- Not slowing down for bad weather. When heavy fog, rain, or ice makes driving hazardous, drivers must slow down—even below the posted speed limit—or they may not be able to proceed through an intersection safely.
How to Prove Another Driver’s Negligence Was the Cause of Your Accident
In order to recover the compensation that you deserve from the insurance company, you will need to prove that the other motorist’s negligence caused your crash. You can begin collecting the evidence you need to win your case right after your collision occurred. Here are types of evidence that can help you:
- Police report
- Photos and video of the damage to the vehicles, the intersection, road conditions, your injuries, and anything else you think might be helpful
- Video footage from nearby businesses
- Eye witness statements
- Cellphone records
- Social media posts by the negligent driver
- Black box data from the at-fault motorist’s auto
- Blood and alcohol test results
- Traffic citations issued
- Expert witness reports from an accident reconstruction expert or an engineer
You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to determine the cause of your intersection auto collision. They will also know what evidence you need to prove the other driver was negligent and can collect it for you. It could be impossible to obtain some types of evidence, such as cellphone records, surveillance footage, and the other vehicle’s black box, on your own.
If a family member or you suffered injuries in an intersection crash in San Diego or Southern California, my skilled staff and I are here to help. I will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your collision and obtain the evidence you need to prove your case. I will also fight aggressively with the insurance company so that you receive all the money you are entitled to in your settlement. Contact my San Diego office to schedule your free initial consultation today.