Traffic light accidents are all too common and often cause severe injuries and death.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported more than 1,000 fatalities from car accidents in or related to intersections in 2021. These are primarily preventable deaths, often caused by careless, distracted, or drunk drivers.
If you have been injured in an intersection accident in Texas, contact our car accident lawyers at Varghese Summersett as soon as possible.
This article discusses red and yellow light accidents, their legal consequences, and how we can help.
Lighting Sequence in Traffic Light Accidents
A lighting sequence refers to the order and duration of the different colored lights (red, yellow, and green) displayed by a traffic signal at an intersection. These sequences are designed to control the flow of traffic and ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Signal Timing Issues
Improper timing of traffic signals can lead to confusion and accidents. If the duration of green, yellow, or red lights is too short, drivers may not have enough time to react, leading to collisions.
Malfunctioning Traffic Signals
Faulty traffic signals that display incorrect lighting sequences or fail to display any lights at all can cause serious accidents, as drivers may not receive the necessary guidance to safely navigate the intersection.
Drivers who misinterpret traffic signals, run red lights, or speed up to beat a yellow light can cause accidents. Distracted driving, impaired driving, and aggressive driving can also contribute to traffic light accidents.
Reduced visibility due to weather conditions, glare, or obstructed traffic signals can make it difficult for drivers to accurately perceive and respond to lighting sequences, increasing the risk of accidents.
Obtaining Lighting Sequence Information from a City
To obtain information about the lighting sequence of a specific traffic signal, you can follow these steps:
Contact the Appropriate City Department: Reach out to the city’s traffic engineering or transportation department, as they are typically responsible for managing traffic signals. You can find their contact information on the city’s official website or by calling the city’s main phone number.
Submit a Request: When you contact the department, explain that you are seeking information about the lighting sequence of a particular traffic signal. Provide the exact location of the intersection in question, and specify the details you need, such as the timing of each light in the sequence.
Follow the City’s Procedure: Some cities may have a formal process for requesting this information, such as submitting a written request or completing an online form. Be sure to follow the city’s specific procedure to ensure your request is processed correctly.
Public Records Request: If the city does not readily provide the information you seek, you may need to submit a public records request under the relevant state’s public records law. This typically involves filling out a form and specifying the documents or information you are requesting. Note that some jurisdictions may charge a fee for processing public records requests.
Investigating Traffic Light Accidents
Accident Scene Analysis
Investigators will visit the accident scene to gather evidence, including photographs, measurements, and physical evidence such as skid marks, debris, and vehicle damage. This helps determine factors like vehicle speed, road conditions, and signal visibility.
Traffic Signal Inspection
Investigators may examine the traffic signals themselves to identify any malfunctions or improper timing that may have contributed to the accident.
Review of Surveillance Footage
Surveillance cameras at or near the intersection can provide valuable information about the accident, including the behavior of drivers, the lighting sequence, and the timing of the traffic signals.
Collecting statements from witnesses who observed the accident can help corroborate or refute various aspects of the incident, such as the lighting sequence or driver behavior.
Vehicle Data Retrieval
Modern vehicles are equipped with onboard data recorders, which can provide crucial information about the vehicle’s speed, acceleration, and braking prior to the accident. This data can help determine if the driver’s actions contributed to the collision.
Traffic engineers, accident reconstruction experts, or other professionals may be consulted to provide their expertise on the factors that may have led to the accident.
Legal Consequences of Red and Yellow Light Accidents in Texas
Personal Injury Claims for Traffic Light Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a red or yellow light accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Our Fort Worth red and yellow light accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Common types of compensation a victim of a red or yellow light accident might be able to receive with the help of our personal injury attorneys include:
Medical expenses: This includes costs related to hospitalization, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical treatments required due to the accident.
Lost wages: If the accident caused the victim to miss work, they might be entitled to compensation for their lost income. This could also include future lost wages if the injury results in long-term disability.
Pain and suffering: This is non-economic damage meant to compensate for the physical and emotional pain and distress caused by the accident.
Loss of consortium: In some cases, a spouse or family member may be eligible for compensation if the victim’s injuries have negatively impacted their relationship.
Property damage: If the accident resulted in damage to the victim’s vehicle or other personal property, they might be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or replacement.
Punitive damages: In cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless or negligent, the court may award punitive damages to the victim as a way to punish the party and deter similar behavior in the future.
Varghese Summersett’s experienced personal injury attorneys will help evaluate the specific circumstances of your case, identify potential damages, and work towards securing maximum compensation. It’s essential to consult with our attorneys to understand the specific legal options available in your case.
What Type of Driver Most Commonly Runs Red Lights in Texas?
Certain factors and behaviors increase the likelihood of someone running a red light. These factors may include:
Age: Younger, inexperienced drivers may be more prone to risky driving behaviors, including running red lights.
Impaired driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and a reduced ability to make safe driving decisions, which can lead to running red lights.
Aggressive driving: Individuals who exhibit aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding or tailgating, may be more likely to run red lights out of impatience or frustration.
Distracted driving: Drivers distracted by their phones, navigation systems, or other in-car activities might not notice a red light and inadvertently run through it.
Fatigued driving: Tired drivers may have slower reaction times and impaired judgment, which could result in running a red light.
Anyone can make a mistake or exercise poor judgment while driving, leading to running a red light. Ensuring all drivers follow traffic rules, stay focused, and drive defensively can help reduce the likelihood of red-light accidents.
Best Ways to Prevent Traffic Light Accidents
Preventing accidents at red or yellow lights requires awareness, defensive driving, and adherence to traffic rules. Here are some tips to help you minimize the risk of becoming a victim in a red or yellow light car accident:
Obey traffic signals: Always follow traffic signals, including red, yellow, and green lights. Stop at red lights and be prepared to stop at yellow lights.
Be cautious at intersections: Approach intersections with caution, and always be prepared to yield to pedestrians and other vehicles.
Scan the intersection: Look left, right, and then left again before entering an intersection, even if you have the right of way. Be aware of other vehicles and their potential actions.
Keep a safe following distance: Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, which allows you enough time to react if they suddenly stop or make an unexpected maneuver.
Be visible: Keep your headlights, taillights, and signal lights in good working order. Use your turn signals to communicate your intentions to other drivers.
Anticipate other drivers’ actions: Be aware of the vehicles around you and try to anticipate their movements. This will give you more time to react if they make an unexpected or aggressive move.
Drive defensively: Stay alert and be prepared to react to any potential hazards. Avoid distractions like using your phone or eating while driving.
Adjust your speed: Drive at a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions, such as slowing down in heavy traffic, bad weather, or when visibility is limited.
Be patient: Don’t rush through intersections or try to beat red lights. It’s better to arrive at your destination a few minutes late than to risk an accident.
Educate yourself: Learn about common red and yellow light accident scenarios and how to avoid them. The more you know about traffic safety, the better prepared you will be to handle challenging situations.
Following these tips and driving defensively can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in a red or yellow light car accident. Remember that safety should always be your top priority on the road.
How Our Fort Worth Red and Yello Light Accident Lawyer Can Help
Our Fort Worth red and yellow light accident lawyer can assist you in several ways:
- Evaluate your case and determine the best course of action.
- Collect evidence to support your claim.
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Represent you in court if necessary.
Were You Injured in a Red or Yellow Light Accident? Call us.
Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from Varghese Summersett’s experienced Fort Worth red and yellow light accident lawyers. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement, meaning we don’t get paid if you don’t.
FAQ: Red and Yellow Light Accident Lawyer
Yes, if you have been injured in a yellow light accident, you may be eligible for compensation.
While it is not mandatory, hiring a lawyer can greatly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation and navigating the legal process effectively.
You can call Varghese Summersett at 817-207-4878 or contact them online.