There are numerous reasons for why a stop light will stop working or malfunction. The most common reason is the electricity goes out or one of the bulbs in the signal dies. Malfunctioning traffic signals can be hazardous and many drivers find them confusing. But there is always a way to handle the situation. Just because a stop light is out or showing a different signal than normal, doesn’t mean the rules of the road fly out the window.
If all drivers proceed with caution and follow basic rules of the road, then there’s no need for anyone to get into an auto accident.
It may have been a while since you took driver’s education, but there are certain procedures to follow when you come to a malfunctioning stoplight.
Larger intersections can become scary and complicated when the traffic lights go out. There may be multiple through lanes and turns lanes of cars. The best way to handle this type of situation is with extreme caution. Remember the right-of-way rules. Sometimes traffic will set up a pattern similar to the light, and if you pay attention, you’ll know when it’s your turn to move forward or turn.
Many people – particularly new and inexperienced drivers – become confused as to when it’s their turn to go. Luckily, right-of-way rules are really about common sense and caution so they can be learned quickly.
The basic premise is to yield to other traffic in order to avoid a collision. For instance, if you come to a “T” intersection, let the traffic on the through road (the top of the “T”) go first. When all is clear, then you can turn.
When you come to an uncontrolled intersection or one with malfunctioning traffic signals, let the cars who arrived at the intersection before you go first. If you and another car came to a stop at the intersection at the same time, yield when the car is on your right. If you are to the right of the other vehicle, then you go first.
Unfortunately, despite many driver’s best efforts, accidents caused by malfunctioning or defective traffic signals happen. Sometimes collisions occur because people don’t slow down or stop when they should. Other times it’s because a driver doesn’t yield to the person on their right. If the accident is caused by another driver’s negligence at an intersection, then the victim may have a personal injury claim.
Accidents can also happen because a traffic light gives conflicting signals to traffic. Each driver may be following their signal correctly but collide in the intersection. In this situation, the victims of the accident may have a case against the municipality responsible for the traffic lights.
Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. If you were hurt in an accident because of a malfunctioning or defective stop light, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 today. They will inform you of your rights and help you recover from the incident.