Deciding to yield or drive through an intersection is a crucial decision, with a small window of opportunity. With minimal communication amongst drivers on the road, there are limited signals as to what each car plans to do next. Yellow lights are seen as an ultimatum for drivers to either accelerate speed or slow to a stop. However, the moment at which a car advances through their window of opportunity—at a yellow light or left-hand turn—sometimes intersects with an oncoming vehicle driving along the road the yielding car is passing through.
The Dangers of Not Choosing to Yield
Yellow lights are generally a warning light that tells drivers to slow down before the light changes to red. Too often, drivers instead see the yellow light message as “hurry up, get through this light before it goes red.” What drivers fail to realize is that when one driver chooses to speed up to make a yellow light, another driver may be using the opportunity to attempt to make a left turn. In short, both drivers are driving to hurry through the intersection before the light turns red. This can in turn result in a serious and possibly tragic collision.
Determining Fault for a Yellow Light, Left-Hand Turn Accident
Determining fault in a crash at a yellow light can get complicated. As a general rule, the driver turning left on a yellow light at an intersection is typically responsible for the accident. Drivers have a legal duty to ensure there is no oncoming traffic and they have sufficient time to clear the intersection before making a left-hand turn.
However, that being said, yellow light collisions should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Other factors must be considered, such as speeding and distracted driving. In some cases, the fault may even be apportioned between the two drivers.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Car Accident Claim Attorney
The Orange County car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.
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