Traffic signs are admittedly sometimes annoying. They tell you where to park, where not to park, where a hill is steep, and where a turtle might cross your path. There are so many of them littering the roadways that it can feel a little like a parent giving obvious instructions to a child. Then there are the signs that everyone knows but still ignore such as no turning left at an intersection between certain hours. These signs really aren’t for safety as much as they are for keeping traffic flowing.
While illegal to disobey a traffic sign, sometimes it isn’t the end of the world and police rarely stop someone to issue a ticket for it. However, ignoring the wrong sign at the wrong time can cause a car accident that ends someone’s life or at the very least causes them serious injuries.
Traffic signs that keep you safe
Everyone uses bad judgment sometimes. It’s just part of life. Knowing when that judgment can have devastating consequences is key. Anytime you are operating a motor vehicle, you need to use your best judgment or risk causing harm to yourself or someone else. Consider the following traffic signs and why they rank higher on the list of importance.
Obeying the speed limit is something that becomes difficult for many people. When you’re on the road you usually just try to keep up with traffic, which is rarely traveling the posted speed limit. There are drivers who become so accustomed to certain roads and highways they frequently travel, that they learn where the hazards lie and feel comfortable exceeding the speed limit. They believe they can navigate that sharp curve with expertise but what they haven’t accounted for is that not everyone else may be able to.
According to the most recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data:
- About 20 out of every 100,000 people in Alabama dies in traffic accidents
- Approximately 44% of those involve car accidents
- Single vehicle crashes accounted for 54% of all deaths, which often signifies speeding
Work Zone Ahead
It’s not exactly news that the infrastructure of roads across the country need a lot of repair. Alabama is no different and the Department of Transportation has been working to correct that. There are a lot of projects going on, which means a lot of work zone signs warning us that we are entering those construction sites that can stretch a distance down the highway. Ignoring these signs can have deadly consequences for road crew members and other vehicles.
In 2018 there were 3,810 work zone crashes in Alabama alone, and those numbers have gone up with four out of every five deaths being a motorist. Concrete barriers are not forgiving if you so much as tap one. They can cause a chain reaction of car crashes behind you if you suddenly stop moving because you’ve crashed into one because you were texting or speeding.
There are several different types of stop signs that drivers encounter. You have the basic stop sign and then you have multi-way stop signs at intersections that arguably may be better suited to having a stop light installed but the state doesn’t spend the money because it’s not a high traffic intersection.
How many times have you seen someone roll through a stop sign thinking nobody is coming and they get hit out of nowhere by a speeding driver? Better yet, how many times have you reached a four-way stop only to realize nobody was paying attention to who reached the intersection first giving them the right-of-way so multiple vehicles enter the roadway at the same time? These stop signs are not there to beautify the landscape. Failing to pay attention to them can cause injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries.
Yield signs seem to confuse many drivers. Some speed up to beat oncoming traffic which has the right-of-way while others view it as a perpetual stop sign. There are also different setups for yielding that require different approaches. You can either temporarily stop until the coast is clear enough to enter, or sometimes there might be a lane that allows you to begin slowly entering the roadway, allowing you time to adjust your speed to merge.
Ignoring the meaning of this sign can cause a rear end collision for those behind you who expect you to know how to navigate traffic, or you can cause yourself to be rear-ended by failing to wait your turn.
Another place you might find a Yield sign is a traffic circle with multiple entrance and exit points. Misjudging how long you might have to get out in front of a vehicle already in the circle, or if vehicle will exit the rotary before you enter can cause a collision as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver who ignored a traffic sign, that individual may be liable for your vehicle damages, medical expenses, lost wages and more. Contact the determined car accident attorneys at Martin & Helms to see if you might be eligible for compensation today.
To schedule your free consultation in our Huntsville or Decatur office, call 256-539-1990 or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form to tell us your story. We protect the rights of injured clients in North Alabama including Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, and Madison. Cases are taken on a contingency fee basis so you pay nothing unless we win.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is an important step in building a better future. You deserve a lawyer who works one-on-one with you, and who can develop a plan for you to move forward. When you choose Martin & Helms, you get Clay Martin and Tara Helms: experienced, compassionate counselors who put your best interests first. We invite you to read more about us.