One of the most commonly violated traffic laws is failing to properly stop at a stop sign. These road signs exist to protect drivers at potentially dangerous intersections. If a negligent driver decides to yield through the signs or simply run it, they are putting other drivers and passengers at risk for serious injury or worse.
Causes of Stop Sign Accidents
There are several identifiable factors that cause stop sign accidents. The following are the most common causes:
Distracted Driving. An inattentive driver is more likely to run a stop sign than a driver who is actively paying attention to the road in front of them. Cell phone use, whether it be talking or texting, and daydreaming are the most common causes of distracted driving. Stop sign accidents involving distraction can lead to violent impacts with other cars, trucks, and other vehicles that have the right-of-way through the intersection.
Inadequate Understanding of Traffic Laws. In the event two drivers believe they both have the right-of-way at an intersection where stop signs are placed at each direction of traffic, both may accelerate past their stop signs and collide.
Obstruction. If a stop sign is blocked, obstructed, or otherwise obscured by trees, bushes, or parked vehicles, approaching traffic may be unaware of the sign, especially if they are not from the area. Determining liability with obstruction-related accidents can be difficult without the help of an experienced lawyer.
Driver Error. If a driver fails to interpret the stop sign correctly, like in the instance of a four-way stop versus a two-way stop, it’s possible a law-abiding vehicle could collide with the careless driver.
Weather. There are a variety of weather extremes that could potentially obscure traffic signs. Driving during a bright sunset can be problematic. Harsh weather, like dense fog, snow, sleet, or rain can also hinder a driver’s ability to see upcoming traffic signs and signals.
Driving Under the Influence. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous and reckless for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the brain’s inability to process surroundings properly. A drunk driver is less likely to notice a stop sign and could cause a serious accident.
Stop Sign Laws and Violation Consequences in Nebraska
Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 119 establishes a driver’s responsibility to abide by traffic control devices, including stop signs. Here’s an overview of those laws:
- All drives are required to obey the instructions of any traffic control device that has been placed on the road in accordance with the Nebraska Rules of the Road. Exceptions may be in place if a peace officer otherwise directs traffics. Drivers of emergency vehicles are also granted exceptions.
- The above law cannot be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time of the alleged violation the device was not working, in the proper position, or sufficiently legible.
- Wherever a traffic control device exists, all drivers should assume it has been placed by the official act or direction of lawful authority.
- It should be assumed the all traffic control devices are in working order and conform with the lawful requirements pertaining to the individual devices.
In the event a driver neglects the traffic control device laws, they may be subject to fines and points on their license. The consequences will be more severe in the event of an accident the results in serious injury or death.
Legal Liability for Stop Sign Accidents
After your accident, it’s important to call law enforcement officers, so they can make an official report. Since, in most cases, the officer did not witness the accident, they will examine the vehicles involved to determine fault. If the accident occurred near a busy intersection, there’s a chance surveillance cameras caught the accident on video. That video can hold a lot of weight as evidence.
At Welsh & Welsh, we can get access to those reports and videos, to prove you were the victim of your accident. Stop sign accident claims can become complicated in the event the negligent driver claims they did nothing wrong. Whether the fault is unclear or you know the other party acted wrongfully, it’s often in your best interest to seek professional legal guidance. Our car accident attorneys in Omaha are prepared to take on your case. For more information on your legal options and rights, contact our office today.