What are the purpose of Stop Signs?
The purpose of stop signs are to control the flow of traffic and make certain streets safer and to prevent Failure to Yield accidents involving stop signs. It's odd, then, that so many accidents happen at stop signs in Tennessee. You may not be able to prevent other people from driving incorrectly, but there are steps you can take to lessen your part in causing accidents. Below are four simple strategies you can use to reduce the possibility of stop sign accidents and increase your chance of getting to your destination safely.
Stop signs are in place not only to help control the traffic at an intersection but in some cases to help keep the speed of moving vehicles down in areas that have a high pedestrian populations to avoid accidents involving Pedestrians, such as inside of a neighborhood or subdivision. Both 2 way and 4 way stop sign intersections exist, depending on the flow of traffic from all directions. Injuries involving Pedestrians often are Catastrophic in nature.
Types of Accidents at a Stop sign
Not Recognizing a 2-Way Stop Sign Intersection
An erroneous assumption that oncoming traffic also has a stop sign at a 2 way stop sign intersection is also another concern.
This type of accident usually involves a driver who follows the law and comes to a complete stop. As they look both ways they notice an oncoming car but presume that it too will have to stop and continues forward right into its path. This leads to a side-impact or a T-bone collision, as the oncoming car crashes into yours.
T-bone accidents are often catastrophic, especially for the car that was hit. Without the protection of the engine or back of the car to protect the driver and passengers, the impact is absorbed almost entirely by the driver and their passengers. Serious are common as are broken spine injuries as the body is jerked sideways in unnatural positions.
If you are injured in a T-bone crash there is a high likelihood that your injuries are grave.
Failure to Yield
Another common scenario is failing to yield accidents, where the first car on the scene attempts to proceed through the intersection while a subsequent car is doing the same.
Rear-end collisions occur with great frequency at stop signs as well, usually resulting inwhiplash for the driver who was hit from behind. This low-impact collision can cause serious soft tissue damage to the neck, requiring medical attention to help cope with the pain.
Other Causes of Stop Sign Car Accidents
Police officials try to pull as many stop sign violators over as they can. However, it continues to be a problem. A person may run a stop sign for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reason include:
- Impatience – some people tend to be in a hurry and don't want to take the time to stop completely or at all.
- Reckless Driving – some drivers go through a stop sign without even realizing it.
- Distracted driving– some text while driving or talk on their cell phone while driving.
- Drunk Driving – when a person is drinking while driving they are generally visually impaired and often run stop signs.
What does Tennessee Law address about Stop Signs?
Tennessee Code 55-8-149 addresses stop signs. The code states "Every driver of a vehicle and every operator of a streetcar approaching a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or in the event there is no crosswalk, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver or operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection, except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal."
How can I prevent being in a Stop Sign Accident?
1. Don't be Courteous – Be Right
There's a strange sense of politeness at intersections in Tennessee, regardless whether it is Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis or the Tri-Cities and it can get someone hurt. You may think you're doing something very nice by letting another person go before you, but what you're really doing is messing up the flow of traffic. If you really want to avoid an accident a stop sign, make sure that you go when it's your turn. Remember that you get to go first if you arrived at the stop sign before the other party and that the person on the right gets to go first if you arrived at the same time.
2. Be Present
It can be very difficult to take care of problems in a car. Many people make use of stop signs as a catch-all place for dealing with anything that's too dangerous to deal with while in motion. While this instinct is natural, it's still something that can get you hurt. If there's a problem that has to be taken care of before you arrive at your destination, pull over out of the flow of traffic and take care of it. If the problem can wait, leave it alone. You should only be at a stop sign long enough to satisfy the law and stay safe. Non-attentive or Inattentive Drivingare big problems in cities such as Knoxville, Nashville, & Memphis. Interestingly, smaller counties like Blount, Coffee, Anderson & Roane Counties experience these kind of problems as well.
3. Put Down the Phone!
You should never use your phone while driving. Every time you look down at your phone, you put yourself in danger of causing an accident. If you must have your phone on, make sure that you use a hands-free setting. Remember, a stop sign is not a good place for you to check your text messages or respond to an email. The road is no place for using a phone, even if you think you can get away with it. Save it for when you arrive – put the phone away. Texting and Driving in Tennessee continues to be a big problem through out the state and Knox County and Davidson County are no exceptions to the rule.
4. Use Your Best Judgment
Finally, use your best judgment when you are dealing with other drivers. This requires not Drinking and Driving or engaging in other activities that make it more likely to end up in a Car Accident. Do you think that the other party is going to go through the stop sign? If so, make sure you stop. It's good to be right, but it's much better to be safe. Always pay attention to the people around you and adjust your driving to suit the situation. With a little extra patience, you'll be able to avoid the accidents that others are willing to cause. Your safety should always be your paramount concern.
Injuries from Running a Stop Sign that Results in an Accident
While you can't prevent all accidents, you can take steps to lessen your role in them. Pay attention and make sure that driving is your sole focus when you are in a car. If you take responsibility, you can make the road safer for everyone. Whether you are driving in Tennessee or you are driving elsewhere, the rules of stop signs won't change – and neither should your actions when stopped. Fault in stop sign intersection accidents can be tricky and will often rely on eyewitness accounts and possible an accident re-creation expert. They use the damage from the cars and the injuries sustained to help paint a picture of how the accident occurred.
Tennessee Intersection Accident Lawyers
Our team of car accident lawyers has helped dozens of victims of stop sign intersection accidents recover the compensation needed to pay for the resulting damages and medical care. Call Betz & Baril today and allow us to do the same for you!