Santa Ana Intersections
Santa Ana is the second most populous city in Orange County. Traffic congestion is a serious problem in this bustling city, which is also the seat of county government. Locations such as where West 1st and Flower streets intersect and where North Main Street meets West Santa Ana Boulevard are common sites for intersection accidents because of the sheer volume of vehicles. Santa Ana also has numerous crosswalks marked and unmarked where many pedestrian accidents do occur.
Carnage in Crosswalks
So far, just this year, six pedestrians have been killed on Santa Ana's roadways including an 11-year-old girl. Prompted by a series of pedestrian collisions in crosswalks, city police ticketed more than 80 drivers during a crosswalk sting in August 2013. Police say the crosswalk sting is just one of their efforts to educate drivers about the importance of coming to a full stop at crosswalks and yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians. Police are also working to curb jaywalking, crosswalk violations and other pedestrian traffic infractions.
California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: "The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection." The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk "shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian."
The same section also states: "This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk."
Intersection Accident Prevention
There are a number of steps motorists can take to prevent these types of street intersection accidents:
- Come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs and do not attempt to go through a yellow light when you have adequate time to safely slow down.
- When approaching an intersection, reduce your speed if the light is about to turn.
- Give yourself more space and time to stop in wet conditions.
- You should also check your blind spots before making a turn.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians
You can't prevent an accident at all times. If another motorist runs a red light, there may not be time to swerve out of the way. This is why it is necessary to go above and beyond by using caution. As you approach an intersection, look to see if traffic is stopped or if an approaching vehicle is slowing down. Even if you have a green light, you should be aware of drivers that may be speeding, distracted, intoxicated or fatigued.
- Speeding drivers: It is more difficult to slow down in time for a changing light when you are traveling above the speed limit.
- Distracted driving: Whenever you are sending a text, fiddling with the radio or looking at a navigation system, you are not focusing on the roadway. Inattentive drivers are more likely to miss changes in the flow of traffic. Distracted drivers can even miss if a light has changed. Many of the most devastating intersection accidents involve drivers who failed to slow down because they were sending a text or talking to a passenger. Whenever you are driving on the congested streets of Santa Ana, make sure your hands are on the wheel, your eyes are on the road and your mind is focused on the task at hand.
- Intoxicated driving: Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to speed, to make poor decisions and to miss changes in the flow of traffic. Drunk drivers often try to speed through lights that are about to turn red.
- Fatigued driving: If you are feeling sleepy, it is vital that you pull over and have someone else drive or rest until you are fit to drive. Fatigued drivers struggle to focus on the roadway and they can easily run through an intersection without realizing it. If you can't remember passing certain roads or if your eyes are feeling heavy, you are too tired to drive safely.
Holding Careless Drivers Accountable
If you are the victim of a speeding, distracted, impaired or fatigued driver, you have the right to hold him or her accountable for your injuries. In fact, anyone who has been injured in a Santa Ana intersection accident would be well advised to obtain more information about his or her legal options. It may be possible to hold the driver responsible for the accident financially accountable for all of the losses suffered.
For example, a successful personal injury claim against a careless driver can result in financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering and a number of other related damages. You may not be able to receive fair compensation, however, if you do not act quickly to protect your rights.
Getting the Support You Need
It is important that you take the steps necessary to protect your best interests. Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and injured victims are rarely offered the compensation they need without legal guidance. Make sure you never admit fault for the crash, collect information from everyone who witnessed the accident, seek out medical attention that same day and research your options before making any legal decisions.
The experienced Santa Ana accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase know and understand the complexities surrounding auto accident cases. We have helped numerous injured victims and their families get fairly compensated for their losses. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.