Intersections continue to be a prime location for accidents. There are many reasons for this occurrence. These accidents continue to be a traffic safety issue as they often lead to serious injuries, and in some cases one or more fatalities.
Among the various types of road users that can be injured in intersection crashes – in addition to drivers of cars, SUVs, and truck drivers – are motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Why Intersection Crashes Occur
Crashes occur at intersections for a variety of reasons. Among the common reasons for crashes at these junction include:
When a motorist runs a red light
When a motorist runs a red light, all traffic at the intersection may be put in jeopardy. Red light running continues to be a major traffic safety problem. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, deaths caused by red light running has recently hit a 10-year high. Further discussion of this traffic safety problem can be seen on the “Red Light Running As A Cause Of Fatal Accident Injuries” page.
When a vehicle rear-ends another vehicle
One of the most common accidents at traffic lights is when one vehicle rear-ends the vehicle in front of it. There can be many reasons for this type of crash. A driver may be distracted, and fails to notice how closely the vehicle ahead is. As well, the driver may be traveling too quickly and can’t stop in time to avoid a collision with the vehicle in front of it.
Adverse weather also can play a role. Adverse weather, typically snow or rain, can make it difficult for a vehicle to stop in time.
When a vehicle rear-ends another vehicle, the resulting injuries, if any, can vary significantly in both type and severity. If the collision occurs at low speed, it is possible that neither driver will be injured. However, if the rearward vehicle is traveling at a faster speed, injuries can be significant. Among the most common injuries suffered by the driver of the stopped vehicle is “whiplash.” Whiplash is further discussed on the “Whiplash” page. As well, a variety of other wide-ranging injuries can occur. Some of these injuries can be serious injuries that require hospitalization and possibly surgeries.
Turning vehicles that crash
There are a variety of accidents that can occur as a vehicle attempts to turn at an intersection. Some of these accidents happen when a driver who is turning left misjudges the speed or distance of the oncoming vehicle. This can lead to a collision. In some cases the turning driver may not see the oncoming vehicle, which can also lead to a crash. Along these lines, one of the most common crashes involving motorcycles is when a driver makes a left-hand turn immediately in front of an oncoming motorcycle. This often leads to a forceful collision between the vehicle and the motorcycle. Due to the speeds and forces involved, as well as other factors, these motorcycle accidents often lead to serious, if not immediately life-threatening injuries, to the motorcyclist and (if applicable) passenger. On this site DuPage County motorcycle accidents, including those of this type, are summarized in posts found under the “DuPage County Motorcycle Accidents” category.
Other road users can be hurt when they are hit by turning vehicles. Among these other road users are bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists can be vulnerable to getting hit by a vehicle at an intersection for various reasons. Among the two most common types of accidents are those that are called “left hook” and “right hook” accidents. In a “left hook” accident, the bicyclist is hit by a vehicle making a left-hand turn from the opposite direction. As the bicyclist is riding through the intersection, this vehicle hits the bike while turning. Often, this accident occurs because the driver of the vehicle fails to see the bicycle rider. In the “right hook” accident, the bicyclist is hit by a vehicle that is attempting to turn right at the intersection. The vehicle is either in front of the bicyclist or next to the bicyclist at the time of the collision. Again, in this situation, the driver usually does not see the bicyclist before making the turn, or misjudges the position of the bicyclist relative to the vehicle. Various types of bicycle accidents and the associated injuries are further discussed on the “DuPage County Bicycle Accidents And Injuries” and “Bicycle Accidents That Occur In DuPage County” pages.
There are many situations that may lead to a pedestrian being injured at an intersection. If the walker attempts to cross the street “against the light” the walker may become vulnerable to being hit by crossing traffic.
Even when pedestrians try to cross the street in the crosswalk, with the light, accidents can occur. The pedestrian may be hit by a vehicle that fails to stop at a red light. As well, the pedestrian may be hit by vehicles making left- or right-hand turns, if the driver of the vehicle fails to see the person or persons walking in the crosswalk. Pedestrian accidents often lead to serious injuries, with some accidents leading to life-threatening medical conditions.
What To Do If Injured In An Accident
If you are injured in an accident, there are various actions that should be taken. These actions help protect health and also address legal issues, including the ability to get proper injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person.
Getting a thorough medical examination is a critical step to take to protect health. This thorough medical examination is typically performed in the hospital emergency room (ER) and should be done as soon as possible. This medical examination is done to identify and assess all injuries, both those that are apparent as well as those that might not be obvious. There are many injuries that may take time to become apparent. If these injuries are not properly treated, they may create an adverse medical condition that, in some cases, may become life-threatening. Among the types of injuries that may not be readily apparent after an accident are traumatic brain injuries (TBI) as well as internal bleeding.
As well, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury lawyer can provide guidance as to what steps should be taken to protect the injured person’s ability to get injury compensation if the injuries were due to another person’s negligence. Injury compensation is typically pursued through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. This compensation is typically very important as the injuries can lead to substantial medical bills as well as other financial issues. These other issues can include lost income due to the inability to work during the injury recovery period; ambulance charges; and property damage issues.
In incidents in which the injuries result in a fatality, relevant parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the person who was killed.
The Elman Joseph Law Group offers a free initial legal consultation for personal injury and wrongful death cases. Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Joseph Law Group, can be reached any time at (773) 392-8182 or at [email protected]
The Elman Joseph Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for 25+ years. The firm also handles wrongful death lawsuits.
Over this 25+ year period, the Elman Joseph Law Group has won many notable settlements and court trial verdicts. As well, the lawyers have received various prestigious awards. The “DuPage County Car Accident Lawyer” page discusses these lawsuit results and awards.
Elman Joseph Law Group handles all lawsuits on a contingency basis…clients never pay a fee unless and until they receive money.