Why are intersections in Tampa so dangerous?
Car accident attorney Armando Edmiston explains
Intersections are some of the most dangerous areas on the road. When vehicles travel in different directions, all it takes is one careless driver to cause a collision. The Federal Highway Administration reports intersections are the scene of half of all traffic fatalities that happen every year. And many of those accidents are devastating side-impact collisions that cause life-altering injuries.
The dangers of intersections extend beyond just car accidents. They pose a serious threat to pedestrians and bicyclists, especially with larger vehicles like trucks passing through. The consequences of an intersection crash can be catastrophic. Given the numerous factors that can lead to intersection accidents, drivers must be extra vigilant – and know their legal rights if they’re hurt.
The most dangerous Intersections in Tampa
Tampa is home to multiple dangerous intersections. According to state and federal crash data, the intersections with the highest risk of accidents in Tampa include:
- Sheldon Road at Waters Avenue West
- Anderson Road at Waters Ave. West
- Waters Avenue West at Hanley Road
- Hillsborough Avenue West at Sheldon Road
- 301 HW South at Gibsonton Drive
- Waters Avenue at Himes Avenue North
- 301 HW South at Big Bend Road
- Bruce B. Downs Boulevard at Fletcher Avenue East
- Bloomingdale Avenue at Bell Shoals Road
- Bloomingdale Avenue at Providence Road
So, what makes intersections such a hazard?
Red light accidents
Traffic lights are a safety tool used to manage and direct traffic. It is up to drivers to pay attention and follow the signals – and it's more common than you might think for drivers to ignore red lights and drive through intersections. This can happen due to rushing, distraction, or recklessness on the driver's part. Additionally, some drivers misjudge traffic signals, attempt to beat yellow lights or make illegal turns.
The impact of these accidents is often severe, resulting in significant injuries or even death. Pedestrians and bicyclists are at an increased risk of being involved in a red-light running accident because a careless driver may not notice them proceeding through the intersection. Such accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries.
Stop sign accidents
Stop sign intersection accidents can be just as dangerous as accidents at traffic light intersections, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Although they may have less traffic flow compared to traffic light intersections, the risk of accidents is still high, especially when drivers fail to follow traffic laws and guidelines.
Here are some key points to consider about stop sign accidents:
- Stop sign accidents occur more frequently than red light accidents as drivers may not be as vigilant in observing them. Just like running a red light, a driver can cause an accident by running a stop sign.
- Distracted drivers pose a serious threat when it comes to stop sign accidents. Even a moment of inattention, such as checking a cell phone, can result in a catastrophic collision when crossing an intersection.
- Impaired drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol may have a hard time following stop signs or navigating through intersections due to their slowed reaction times and impaired judgment. This type of reckless driving endangers everyone at the intersection.
Not paying attention to stop signs can have serious consequences, especially for drivers who are unfamiliar with an area or neighborhood – including devastating T-bone crashes that can cause serious injuries due to the lower level of protection provided by the side of a car.
Left turn accidents
Left turns at intersections can present challenges for drivers, as they must carefully time their turn and navigate the movements of other vehicles and pedestrians. If a driver attempts a left turn without sufficient time or space, the risk of a collision with an oncoming vehicle increases significantly.
Left-turn intersection accidents can also occur due to limited visibility caused by factors such as blind spots and weather conditions, including sun glare. Such obstructions can make it difficult for drivers to see approaching vehicles and pedestrians. Additionally, distracted driving is a major cause of left-turn accidents, as drivers may not be fully focused on their surroundings and fail to notice oncoming traffic. This can be particularly dangerous for oncoming motorcycles or bicycles.
Left turn accidents can be particularly hazardous, as they often involve a driver traveling at high speeds colliding with a driver who is waiting to turn. The impact of such accidents can result in severe injuries or even fatalities for occupants of either vehicle.
How fault is determined
Determining fault for an intersection accident in Florida can be complex, as each case is unique and requires careful consideration of various factors. Generally, the driver who violated traffic laws or failed to yield the right of way is at fault. This can include drivers who run red lights, stop signs, or fail to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn. However, other factors, such as weather conditions, road conditions, and mechanical failures, may also play a role in the accident.
Establishing fault for an intersection accident is critical to determine the responsible party who acted negligently or recklessly. It can also be a difficult task, especially if witnesses disagree on what they saw or physical evidence is ambiguous. Fault for the accident is important because in Florida, if you are more than 50 percent at fault, you can’t recover compensation. If you are partially at fault but less than 50 percent, then your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
That’s why legal representation is so important. A car accident attorney can examine the accident's circumstances, gather evidence, and develop a compelling argument to demonstrate fault. Additionally, lawyers can handle legal negotiations, insurance claims, and court proceedings, as required.
Contact an experienced Tampa intersection accident lawyer
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident at one of Tampa's intersections, our law firm is here to help. We are committed to providing the support you need. We understand the devastating impact these intersection accidents can have on individuals and their families, which is why we are passionate about helping our clients navigate the legal process with care and expertise.
At Armando Injury Law, our attorneys prioritize our clients' well-being, and we have the experience and knowledge to pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Let us put you first. Contact us today for a free case evaluation with an experienced intersection accident attorney.