Traffic lights are placed at intersections to help regulate the flow of traffic. Unfortunately, lights are only effective when drivers (a) understand what the different signals mean and (b) follow the rules. Accidents happen when drivers aren’t aware of their responsibilities or simply don’t care about following the law.
Drivers must come to a complete stop when a traffic signal displays a steady red light. Vehicles must remain stopped until the light turns green or a legal right-hand turn can be performed safely. California Vehicle Code Section 21453.
A yellow traffic signal indicates that the light will be turning red and that the flow of traffic through the intersection will be changing shortly. Drivers are encouraged to slow down, approach the intersection with caution and prepare to stop at the red light. California Vehicle Code 21452.
Arrows are used to help drivers make safe turns at busy Orange County intersections. When a traffic arrow is red, drivers must stop and remain stopped until the signal changes. It’s common for these arrows to flash yellow, rather than turn green. When approaching a flashing yellow arrow, drivers are permitted to turn.
However, turns must only be performed when the driver has assessed the situation and determined that it is safe to proceed through the intersection. You must always yield to oncoming traffic and check nearby crosswalks for pedestrians. California Vehicle Code Section 12454.
Not all intersections in Orange County have traffic signals. Many are four-way stops. Other times, traffic signals don’t work. When this happens, they effectively become four-way stops. When approaching a four-way stop, all drivers must come to a complete stop. What happens when there is more than one vehicle at an intersection? The driver to the left must yield the right of way to the driver to his or her immediate right. California Vehicle Code Section 21800.
Statistics show that accidents tend to happen when drivers become aggressive or distracted at red and yellow lights. These are the leading causes of car accidents at Orange County intersections.
California law doesn’t explicitly state that a yellow traffic signal means “slow down.” As a result, many drivers believe that it’s okay to speed up to beat a yellow light before it turns red. However, these drivers forget that they have an obligation to use caution and care behind the wheel.
When a driver speeds up to beat a red light, they tend to throw caution to the wind. This creates an incredibly dangerous situation for everyone approaching the intersection. The risk of an accident increases significantly when drivers try to speed through the intersection before the light turns red.
All intersections are different. It may be safe to make a right turn on red at one intersection, but incredibly dangerous at another. Many intersections happen when drivers make illegal or unsafe turns. When there are no traffic signs or signals to regulate left or right-hand turns, drivers must use caution and judgment before traveling through the intersection. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to look for oncoming traffic, don’t see pedestrians or simply misjudge the amount of time they have to turn.
Right-hand turns are permitted at many intersections in Orange County. However, these turns can only be done after a driver has come to a complete stop and determined that it’s safe to proceed. Accidents, particularly those involving pedestrians, tend to happen when drivers roll up to the intersection and through the light without stopping. Drivers who fail to stop are more likely to misjudge the amount of time they have to make a turn and create dangerous hazards.
Drivers stopped at intersections are becoming increasingly distracted by their phones and electronic devices. Rather than paying attention to the traffic around them, they’re focused on texts, emails and social media. Distractions at intersections are increasingly responsible for rear-end crashes. A driver stopped at a light may not realize that the signal has changed. This can increase the risk of being rear-ended by drivers approaching the green light intersection.
Have you been involved in an accident because another driver sped through an intersection or tried to beat a yellow light? You have the right to demand compensation. While money won’t guarantee a full recovery, it can certainly help during this difficult time. Hiring an attorney will significantly increase the likelihood of obtaining a fair and reasonable settlement or award.
At the Law Offices of John Rapillo, our attorneys will aggressively pursue monetary damages on your behalf. We’ll demand both economic and noneconomic damages, including compensation for:
Call Law Offices of John Rapillo at 949-675-5060 to schedule your free case assessment today. Our attorneys are prepared to help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve for your accident injuries.
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