Road Rules to Help Avoid an Automobile Accident at an Intersection
Florida Statutes define “Intersection” as the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two highways which join one another at, or approximately at, right angles; or the area within which vehicles traveling upon different highways joining at any other angle may come into conflict. F.S. §316.003 (17)(a). The language of this definition notably emphasizes the inherent danger of an intersection, describing an area where vehicles may come into “conflict.” Regardless of the size of an intersection, be it two six-lane roads crossing, or an unpaved road crossing a rural two-lane street, the possibility for such conflict (such as an automobile or motorcycle accident) is always present.
The use of the term “conflict” in this statute is, of course, merely a reference to an automobile accident or motorcycle crash. An automobile crash can occur in any number of ways at an intersection, and victims can often find themselves involved through no fault of their own.
Rear end collisions, for example, are frequent occurrences at intersections. Often these come about because a following driver is distracted and does not realize the lead driver has stopped. Side impact collisions, or “t-bones,” can occur as well. These types of accidents typically involve a driver on one side running a red light, be it intentionally or while trying to make it through an intersection before a yellow light turns red.
Regardless of the type or the cause of an intersection-related automobile accident, using caution when you approach an intersection and being aware of your surroundings can help you avoid a collision. The Traffic Control section of the Florida Statutes contains several subsections that deal specifically with intersections. Knowing these laws can help keep you safe on Florida’s roadways and at intersections.
Limitations on driving to left of center of roadway – Florida Statute §316.087
– No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway when approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection
Approaching or Entering an Intersection – Florida Statute §316.121
– Drivers approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway
– When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, the vehicle on the left shall yield right-of-way to the vehicle on the right
Vehicle Turning Left – Florida Statute §316.122
– A driver intending to turn left within an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, or vehicles lawfully passing on the left of the turning vehicle
Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection – §316.123
– Drivers approaching a stop intersection shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, or before entering the crosswalk if there is not a stop line, or at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic before entering the intersection
– At a four way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right
Vehicle Approaching Intersection, Traffic Lights are Inoperative – §316.1235
– A driver approaching an intersection in which traffic lights are inoperative shall stop as if approaching a stop intersection
Required Position and Method of Turning at Intersections – §316.151
– When turning right in an intersection, both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be mae as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway
– When turning left in an intersection, the driver shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle, and, after entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered
Being aware of the laws and taking precautions behind the wheel are important and useful steps to take to avoid an automobile accident or motorcycle crash in an intersection. If you unfortunately become the victim of an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, or if you just have questions about your rights as a driver on Florida’s highways, call the Daytona Beach personal injury attorneys at Rue & Ziffra for a free consultation.
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