Car Accidents at Intersections & Traffic Signals
Despite the number of signs and stoplights populating busy intersections in Rhode Island, carelessness and negligence continue to cause severe car accidents at these types of junctures. Across the U.S., over 7,000 people are killed and 1 million injured in intersection-related crashes each year. Providence in particular is home to one of the state’s busiest and most dangerous intersections, Memorial Drive in downtown. With collisions at intersections and traffic lights prevalent throughout the state, it’s important to know you can count on Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney David Tapalian to help you if you are hurt. Dedicated to helping victims of car accidents and personal injury in RI and MA for over two decades, David and the skilled team at Tapalian Law have the expertise to seek maximum compensation for your personal injury and property damage after a car crash.Dangerous Intersections in Rhode Island
When a negligent driver fails to yield the right-of-way rules at an intersection, or rushes through a red traffic light, a dangerous collision can occur. Some of the most accident-prone intersections in the state include:
- Memorial Drive, downtown Providence: Adjacent to the Providence Place Mall and with a high volume of vehicle and foot traffic, this intersection is the site of 40-50 crashes per year.
- I-95, Exit 18: Thurbers Avenue
- Route 6 & Route 10: The intersection where these two routes connect is a prime site for collisions.
- I-95, Exit 20: Connection to Route 6
- I-95, Exit 23: State Offices exit
If you are injured in a crash at an intersection or stoplight caused by another motorist, it’s important to seek expert legal advice from a top-rated Rhode Island car accident lawyer. Attorney David Tapalian can help you to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver who caused your injuries and will fight to get you compensation for your losses. As part of a car accident settlement you may be eligible for medical expenses, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and pain and suffering.Common Types of Collisions at Intersections & Traffic Lights
Human error, of course, results in accidents every day, but distracted drivers, impatient drivers, and negligent pedestrians, often take risks that put others in danger, such as trying to speed through a changing traffic light at an intersection. Due to the nature of collisions that occur as a result of running through a red light, victims of these types of accidents are 15% more likely to have injuries than victims of crashes that occur outside of intersections. Examples of typical scenarios at these junctions include:
T-Bone Accidents: Frequently caused by a driver “running” a red light, a T-bone crash is considerably more dangerous than other types of accidents and usually results in more severe injury. Although a driver may assume it is safe to go when the light turns green, another driver speeding through a red light can put them in danger. When a motorist doesn’t take caution to slow down at a yellow light and ends up crossing through an intersection while the light turns red, or runs a red light, they run the risk of causing a catastrophic collision injuring themselves and other innocent people on the road. An accident attorney can hold the distracted driver accountable for their actions.
Left-Turn Accidents: If a vehicle is paused at an intersection waiting to make a left turn they must remember that oncoming traffic has the right of way, and must yield to the oncoming vehicles before safely making the turn.
Rear-end Collisions: If Car A is stopped at a red light and the driver of Car B behind them is looking down to read a text and not paying attention, Car B can’t stop in time to avoid crashing into Car A. This can result in a serious rear-end crash.
Pedestrian (Crosswalk) Accidents: When a person on foot neglects to heed the crosswalk signal, or the pedestrian heeds the safe signal to walk but a car or truck fails to stop for the crosswalk, the pedestrian may suffer serious physical injuries.
Failure to Yield: Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection or upon entrance to a highway is a common cause of intersection-related collisions. A yield sign signals a driver to slow down and yield the right of way to existing traffic, or stop if necessary.Rhode Island Right of Way Laws
The State’s Right of Way laws are defined in Rhode Island General Laws, Chapter 31-17. If you are injured in a crash at an intersection, consult with an experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer to determine how the right of way laws apply to your specific accident claim. An excerpt below of RI General Law § 31-17-4 Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection, addresses the law how it pertains to the right of way at intersections.
(a) Preferential right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs.
(b) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic-control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian intending to cross the lane of traffic in a crosswalk or any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on the highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.
(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to the sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian intending to cross the lane of traffic in a crosswalk or any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection.When a Driver Fails to Stop at a Traffic Signal
All motor vehicle operators in Rhode Island must act according to the traffic laws, including the right of way laws, and abide by them to create the safest environment possible for all drivers on the road. If a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or heed a traffic signal and causes injury to another, the hurt victim may have the right to pursue a claim against the offending motor vehicle operator and hold them legally responsible for their damages. Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney David Tapalian has the experience and qualifications to help victims of car accidents at intersections and stoplights receive compensation for their physical injuries, medical bills, property damage, pain-and-suffering, and any other damages that may have been sustained. At Tapalian Law, our Rhode Island personal injury law professionals can hold negligent drivers accountable for their reckless mistakes that put innocent motorists, passengers, and pedestrians at risk.Contact Tapalian Law After a Car Accident in RI
Despite laws that encompass how to safely proceed at traffic signals and intersections, these busy junctures require focus and attention on the part of everyone involved. There is no room to allow for carelessness, negligence, or distracted driving. Unfortunately, serious mistakes occur at intersections and stoplights across Rhode Island and Massachusetts on a daily basis, causing innocent drivers to fall victim to severe or potentially fatal collisions. No matter the severity of the crash, the skilled personal injury team at Tapalian Law have the resources to help victims file a personal injury claim and navigate the difficult aftermath following a car accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a vehicle accident in RI or MA, call our Providence office at 401-552-5000 , for a free consultation, or contact us online. With offices conveniently located in Providence and Warwick, RI, and Seekonk, MA, Attorney Tapalian is prepared to begin helping you today.