The Intersection Conundrum

It appears that close to 45% of all car crashes tend to take place in or close to an intersection.

While you may think that if two cars collide, one of them is obviously at fault because they did not obey the rules of the road, many times there are other reasons involved. In other words, things are not always what they may look like on the surface. A good car crash attorney knows this and will spend time digging for the information they need to make a case for their client.

According to the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, collisions that happen at intersections are responsible for approximately 21% of the resulting fatalities. If these kinds of accidents were as straightforward as people think they are on the surface, there would be no need to hire a lawyer. Everyone would admit fault, discuss things rationally and get the case settled. Of course, too often this doesn’t happen in the real world.

Let’s take a look at the other factors that often contribute to wrecks at intersections, which include possible road construction, poor driving conditions (ice, slush, etc.), perhaps traffic lights that didn’t work properly, or a glitch in the timing sequences.

There are actually two methods to make the traffic lights work at an intersection. The older method is pre-timed or fixed to change after a set period of time. Vehicles in the intersection trigger these lights. Rather a hit and miss affair at times. The newer traffic lights are controlled by above and below ground sensors. Computers that calculate the flow of the traffic, the time of day and where certain vehicles are in the intersection, also monitor the sensors.

These are not the only things to factor into intersection collisions. Did you know that emergency vehicles might interrupt intersection light sequencing? Is the intersection properly designed? While you may think it odd, people who have driven the same route for years, often have an accident if the intersection they are used to is changed.

These are a just a few of the things a top notch personal injury lawyer will be asking when you discuss your case with him or her. Your attorney will also want to know if lights in other intersections close to where you had your accident were in good working order on that day. Faulty lights at one intersection may lead to problems at another. They will also closely question the police report of the accident and dig for witnesses for a potential court case. As you see, a “simple” accident might not be so simple after all.

Jack Zinda is an Austin personal injury lawyer. To learn more about Austin injury lawyer Jack Zinda visit