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The stop sign made its first appearance in the United States in 1915 in the state of Michigan. The first stop sign looked nothing like the signs we see today in Florida. Instead of the red octagon, we recognize today, the original stop sign was square-shaped, white, with black lettering. While all licensed drivers are supposed to recognize and obey stop signs, many fail to do so, resulting in serious car accidents. Victims who are injured in stop-sign accidents should contact a personal injury lawyer near Tampa FL to find out what legal options they may have.
Stop Sign Crashes
National statistics reveal that one-third of all intersection crashes in the United States occur at stop sign-controlled intersections – approximately 700,000 crashes. And more than 40 percent of fatal crashes that take place each year happen at stop sign intersections.
About 70 percent of all stop sign accidents at one-way or two-way stop sign intersections usually play out the same way. One driver runs the stop sign and hits another vehicle going through the intersection. This is the reason why these percentages are so high. The vehicle that is hit by a stop sign runner at an intersection crash is usually hit in its side, where there is little structural integrity like there is in the front of the vehicle. There is very little protection and nothing to absorb the impact of the other vehicle smashing into it, leaving victims who often suffer severe injuries and death.
A personal injury lawyer near Tampa FL knows that running a stop sign is just as dangerous as running a red light, maybe more so. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more fatalities occur at stop signs than traffic lights. Failure to stop at a stop sign can result in the deaths of other vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Common reasons why people run stop signs include:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to come to a complete stop (referred to as a rolling stop)
- Obstructed view
- Reckless driving
One alarming trend is the number of teen fatalities caused by drivers who run stop signs on major thoroughfares and highways. There are some indications that teens are now running stop signs as a challenge or dare, goaded to do so by their friends.
Duty of Care
When a victim is injured in a car accident caused by another driver, Florida law allows the victim to pursue damages against that at-fault driver for the losses their injuries have caused them to suffer, such as medical bills, lost wages, and more. In order to be successful, the victim – usually through their injury attorney – has to prove that the other driver was negligent and that negligence caused the crash that resulted in their injuries. The victim must prove that:
- The alleged at-fault driver had a duty of care to the victim.
- The driver breached that duty of care.
- That breach caused the accident and the victim’s injuries.
When a driver runs a stop sign and that action causes an accident, it is easier much to prove negligence. This is because running the stop sign was a violation of traffic laws and under the legal doctrine referred to as “negligence per se,” the negligence is automatically attributed to the driver who ran the stop sign.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who ran a stop sign – or any other reason – contact Jeff Murphy Law to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a personal injury lawyer near Tampa FL. Call our office today.