Intersection Accidents

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Common Reasons for Accidents at Denver Intersections

According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other organizations, some of the most common causes of intersection accidents include:

  • Driving through red lights
  • Improper turns (including U-turns)
  • Driving too fast for road and weather conditions
  • Changing lanes while driving through an intersection
  • Failure to follow traffic control signals

In particular, running red lights accounts for a high percentage of deaths at intersections. Studies by the American Automobile Association (AAA) have consistently shown that Colorado has one of the highest per-capita rates of deaths caused by red-light runners in the nation.

Running red lights poses a danger to the drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists involved, but red light accidents are especially dangerous for passengers and those riding in other vehicles, who account for nearly half of the deaths in red-light running accidents.

Experts and drivers alike agree that running a red light is dangerous, yet AAA reports that one in three drivers admit to having driven through a red light in the previous month. Attorneys know that drivers who make the reckless choice to blow through a light instead of stopping can be held liable for the damage they cause.

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When Drivers Violate Right-of-Way and Yield Rules

Colorado’s traffic laws establish obligations to keep drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians safe on the roads. However, when it comes to preventing accidents, many of the most important rules involve situations where a driver should yield to other traffic on the road.

Traffic signals and signs provide guidance to drivers in some intersections, although, as noted above, these traffic directives often get ignored. The majority of intersections in Colorado have no signs or signals directing the movement of vehicles. Instead, everyone has to rely on each other to know and follow right-of-way rules and keep watch for others who fail to yield when they should.

All vehicles on the road, including bicycles, are expected to follow right-of-way rules. Some examples of situations where vehicles are supposed to yield include:

  • When two vehicles enter an intersection from different directions at the same time, the vehicle on the left should yield
  • When a driver turns left in an intersection, that driver should yield to traffic from the opposite direction when those vehicles are either in the intersection or “so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.” 
  • Vehicles pulling into the road from a parking lot must yield to all vehicles currently on the road
  • Vehicles driving behind a transit bus must yield to the bus if the bus is signaling to re-entry traffic after a stop and the yield sign is illuminated

In many cases, drivers who violate the rules can be cited for a traffic infraction, and this could provide additional evidence to show why that driver should be held at fault for an accident. Moreover, provisions such as Colo. Rev. Stat. §42-4-703(4) can also help define liability for intersection accidents caused by one’s failure to yield. This provision states that if a driver collides with another vehicle after failing to stop at a “yield” sign, the collision itself is sufficient evidence of a violation of the right-of-way rules.

Preventing and Dealing with Intersection Accidents

When you know the right-of-way rules and understand the need to watch for the most common dangerous actions of other drivers, you can help keep yourself and your passengers safer on the roads. However, even with great vigilance, you may still be the victim of reckless or negligent conduct of other drivers entering intersections. When that happens, you need to protect your rights and your future.

An accident lawyer can handle questioning from investigators and insurance companies to prevent you from inadvertently saying something that could jeopardize your ability to recover compensation from the driver at fault. An attorney can also collect evidence to demonstrate liability so that you can receive full and fair compensation for your losses in the collision.

Contact the Levine Law Firm Today 

If you or a loved one suffered due to an intersection accident, contact the experienced legal team at Levine Law for a free case evaluation and consultation to learn all the ways we could help in your situation. 

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