Virginia intersection accident attorneys
Do intersections have the most accidents in Virginia?
We Virginia drivers pass through a lot of intersections each day.
It’s scary when you consider that 40 percent of all traffic accidents in the United States happen at intersections - about 2.5 million a year. And 20 percent of all traffic fatalities occur at intersections, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
In fact, intersection accidents are the second largest category of accidents in America. (Rear-end accidents are No. 1.)
With these facts in mind, we at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys urge you to be extra careful when stopped at and driving through intersections.
As drivers, it’s easy to forget how dangerous intersections can be. Lack of concern can contribute to the danger because people let their guards down in familiar situations. Don’t fall into that trap.
But unfortunately, being alert is not enough to avoid accidents. Many times, people are hurt through no fault of their own. When they are, the bills pile up -- medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and more.
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we serve our neighbors who have been injured because of the negligence of another person or company. We have 75 years of combined experience, and we consider it a calling to help those who have been hurt. After all, we have been there ourselves, and we know how important it is to have someone on your side handling the legal process so that you can focus on getting better.
If you’re hurt in a collision and have questions, call our Gloucester car accident lawyers at (804) 203-0385 for a FREE consultation. If we take your case, you pay nothing upfront. We only get paid if we make you money. That’s our Zero Fee Guarantee.
What causes most intersection accidents?
The five most common causes of intersection accidents are as follows, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We offer you related safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones from being injured at intersections:
- Inadequate surveillance: "Inadequate surveillance" could be described as not "watching out!" It’s a common cause of traffic accidents: not looking carefully where you’re about to go, such as when turning or changing lanes.
When turning left at an intersection, look out for oncoming traffic, as well as for cars, bicyclists, or pedestrians crossing the street in the direction you’re about to turn.
Inadequate surveillance could also be forgetting to check the rearview mirror and both side-view mirrors before switching lanes. Try to always do this.
- False assumption: When drivers make false assumptions or inaccurate predictions about what another driver is about to do, they may act incorrectly.
For instance, when approaching an intersection to make a left turn, you might assume that an oncoming driver notices your turn signal and will slow down to allow you to turn. If the approaching driver does not slow down or stop, there will be a collision. False assumptions are often expressed as, "I thought he saw me," or "I thought he was going to stop."
- Obstructed view: Your view can be obstructed by many things: part of your vehicle, a passenger, another vehicle (such as a large truck), a tree covering a stop sign, approaching headlights, bright sunshine at a low angle, fog, snow, rain, etc. Visual obstructions cause 7.8 percent of all intersection accidents. Be extra-careful anytime your view is obstructed.
- Illegal maneuvers: While you may be a safe driver, you can’t count on other drivers to act accordingly. Illegal maneuvers, such as speeding, running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, or making an illegal turn, can lead to intersection accidents and serious injuries. Although you can’t prevent others from breaking the law, you can drive defensively. In fact, it’s often helpful to expect the worst from other drivers and be pleasantly surprised if you’re wrong.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving - specifically, using cell phones and other devices while driving - has become an epidemic on America’s roadways, and intersections are no exception. In fact, people at intersections are particularly vulnerable because many drivers check their phones while they’re stopped at red lights. Just be aware that other drivers may not be paying any attention to their surroundings when stopped, and you may need to honk to alert them to a potentially dangerous situation.
When a driver runs a red light
According to the laws of Virginia, a red light indicates that “moving traffic shall stop and remain stopped” until the signal changes. Anyone who enters an intersection after the light turns red is running a red light, including drivers who enter an intersection to make a right turn without stopping first. Drivers who enter an intersection to make a left turn are not running a red light, but they may in fact need to wait for the safest moment to turn.
Every day, two people are killed when someone runs a red light. This type of accident injures more than 200,000 Americans every year. When someone runs a red light, many bad things can happen. Bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the street are particularly vulnerable. Drivers and motorcyclists waiting to make a left turn can also suffer devastating consequences when hit head-on by a vehicle traveling at full speed, often exceeding the legal limit.
Why do drivers run red lights?
Sometimes people intentionally run a red light because they’re in a hurry. Other times, drivers are just not paying attention. But people will often run a red light because they simply don’t have enough time to stop.
In other words, they were speeding. Because speeding reduces stopping time, speeding drivers often have a difficult time determining whether they can come to a complete stop before entering an intersection. Drivers should always obey the speed limit, and remember that speeding becomes even more deadly when a driver approaches an intersection.
Red light photo enforcement in Virginia
Many drivers complain that red light photo enforcement is a way for the government to collect more revenue, but it’s actually an effective way to reduce accidents and save lives. In fact, crashes at intersections have decreased by 40 percent from using this enforcement method.
In Virginia, only vehicles entering an intersection after the light has turned red are photographed. Offending drivers are fined $50 with no resulting insurance liability, no DMV implications, and no negative points added to their driver’s record. On the other hand, if a driver is cited by a police officer for running a red light, he will be fined up to $350 and receive three demerit points.
All intersections with red light photo enforcement are clearly marked by conspicuous signs within 500 feet of the intersection. Every recorded incident is reviewed by a law enforcement officer. If the officer determines that an infraction has happened, a $50 fine is mailed to the vehicle’s owner.
Protecting drivers in Virginia
We hope that by explaining these common causes (and some remedies) for intersection accidents, we can help you and your family avoid being involved in one. But although you may drive responsibly, there’s no guarantee that other drivers will do the same.
If you or a loved one is injured in an intersection accident in Gloucester, we at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys can help you get the compensation you and your family deserve.
We know firsthand what it’s like to be injured by another driver, and we bring empathy and compassion to every client.
Thanks to our Zero Fee Guarantee, it costs you nothing to hire us. To find out more, call (804) 413-6777 today. We will sit down with you in a free, no-obligation case evaluation and go over all of your options.
Recent Auto Accident Case Results
DISCLAIMER. Each case is handled based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case. These results are NOT indicative of the outcome of any potential case. All case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case, and these case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by our firm.
- $725,000 Compensation - Man suffered serious injuries after another driver ran a stop sign and crashed into his vehicle.
- $425,000 Compensation - Mother and daughter were injured when a work van blew through a red light and crashed head-on into the family’s minivan.
- $245,000 Compensation - Woman was injured when a negligent driver blew through a stop sign and crashed into the woman’s car.
- $175,000 Compensation - Woman's car was struck at high speed by another driver who ran a red light.
- $100,000 Compensation - Woman was struck by a negligent driver who failed to yield to oncoming traffic at an intersection.
See more case results here.
- What are the 10 most dangerous intersections in Gloucester County, VA? And how can you stay safe while driving through them
- Safe driving tips for Virginia’s rural roads
- Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes: An On-Scene Perspective
Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.