Three men were injured in an Orange County car accident after two pickup trucks crashed at a street intersection in the city of Lake Forest. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the evening of Jan. 15 at the intersection of Rockfield Boulevard and Ridge Route Drive. Fire officials who responded to the scene said a 2004 Toyota Tacoma traveling west on Ridge Route Drive struck a 2015 RAM 2500 pickup truck that was southbound on Rockfield.
The impact from the collision caused the RAM pickup to roll over and strike a light pole. Authorities transported three unidentified men, the two drivers and a passenger from the Toyota, to a local hospital with traumatic injuries. The investigation into who or what caused this accident is still ongoing.
Street Intersection Car Accidents
Each year in the United States, a number of people are seriously injured or killed in street intersection roll over accidents. When we pass through street intersections, all of us are in danger, whether we are motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists. Even though intersections are controlled by traffic lights or signs, they can be extremely treacherous, particularly because people are reckless or negligent while driving through them. There are a number of reasons why street intersection crashes occur.
- Running a red light: red light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year nationwide. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2014, 709 people were killed and an estimated 126,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running. Over half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles who were hit by red light runners. An IIHS study of urban crashes found that those involving drivers who ran red lights, stop signs and other traffic controls were the most common type of crash (22 percent). Injuries occurred in 39 percent of the crashes where drivers ran red lights.
- Failure to yield: A number of street intersection accidents occur because motorists fail to yield the right of way at intersections. According to California Vehicle Code section 21800 (a): "The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway."
- Making an unsafe turn: Another cause of street intersection crashes is drivers making unsafe turns. Most accidents involving turns at intersections occur when vehicles are turning left or attempting to make a U-turn.
- Speeding or aggressive driving: Driving at an excessive rate of speed also often results in devastating intersection crashes. In addition when a driver is operating aggressively and trying to beat the light, the likelihood of a catastrophic collision at the intersection increases.
- Driving under the influence: When drivers operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they put everyone on the roadway at risk. Impaired driving makes traveling through an intersection even more risky.
- Distracted driving: Texting or talking on a handheld cell phone could also cause street intersection accidents.
- Poor intersection design: It is important to have proper traffic control systems, signage and visibility in order to prevent accidents at intersections. When intersections are poorly designed, marked or maintained, accidents could occur. Sometimes, street intersections are designed with insufficient traffic controls, poor lighting or inadequate sidewalks and crosswalks.
What Should You Do?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a street intersection car accident, there are a number of steps you can take to help ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected. Immediately after the collision, make sure you pull over to a safe location. If you or your passengers have been injured, call 911 so you can receive immediate medical attention. File a police report and obtain a copy for your records. Take as many photographs as possible of the accident scene including position of the vehicles, damage to the vehicles, roadway conditions, signage at the intersection, etc.
Get all pertinent information from all parties involved in the collision such as driver's license number, license plate number, insurance information, vehicle registration and contact information. Secure contact information for anyone who may have seen the collision. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Never admit fault to the other driver's insurance company, attorney or any other representative. Preserve the vehicle for a thorough examination by an expert. It can be the most important piece of evidence in an auto accident case. Contact an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer who will protect your rights every step of the way and help you obtain maximum compensation for your losses.
Preventing Street Intersection Car Accidents
There are a number of steps drivers can and should take in order to avoid street intersection crashes:
- Be sure to drive defensively while anticipating issues with caution and attention, particularly during rush hour.
- Be as patient as possible. Leave earlier so have time to arrive safety at your destination.
- Avoid all types of driver distractions. Drivers must be extremely focused as they approach an intersection and consciously look out for other vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles.
- Never speed through intersections. A driver who is going by too fast may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, if it becomes necessary.
- Respect red lights and stop signs. Don't try to beat the light and never roll through stop signs.
Holding At Fault Drivers Responsible
Do not talk to insurance companies or give statements without first talking to your own injury lawyer. In such cases, at-fault drivers can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitative therapy, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The nature and extent of your injuries will often determine the value or a car accident claim. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer will fight for your rights and stand up against insurance companies to help you obtain fair and full compensation for all your losses.