Car Accidents at Dangerous Intersections
If you were injured in a car crash, there is a good chance it happened at an intersection. More than 50 percent of all car accidents happen at intersections, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Unfortunately, in Massachusetts, there are many dangerous intersections, where drivers are known to speed, fail to yield or check their cell phones. Poor road design may contribute to intersection accidents.
As an accident victim, you may have the right – and need to – seek financial compensation to assist with your recovery. A Boston car accident lawyer can advise you on your legal rights for seeking coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Cyclists and pedestrians may also seek compensation for injuries sustained in intersection crashes.
Examples of negligent driving at Massachusetts intersections:
- Neglecting to slow down or stop for yellow lights
- Failure to stop for red lights
- Turning without making a complete stop at a red light or traffic sign
- Failure to yield to cyclists turning at intersections
- Cell phone use
- Not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks
- Disobeying traffic signs
- Aggressive or threatening behavior
- Not following other cars, trucks and school buses at a safe distance
- Passing vehicles unsafely in or near an intersection
Massachusetts Laws for Driving Near Intersections
Massachusetts drivers have a duty to use reasonable care at intersections, including at stop signs and traffic signals. When a driver is negligent and hits another driver, cyclist or pedestrian, injuries can be serious and catastrophic.
Drivers have a responsibility to yield to other drivers, including before making a left turn at an intersection. When two drivers approach or enter an intersection at the same time, “the operator of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.” M.G.L c. 89 § 8.
Drivers can put themselves and others at risk any time they use a hand-held cell phone. Picking up a cell phone and texting are also not allowed at intersections.
Cyclists. When operating near cyclists, drivers must remember space is limited at intersections. The best approach is to allow cyclists to turn first.
Massachusetts law specifically states drivers cannot make a “right turn unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the bicyclist at a speed that is reasonable and proper.” M.G.L. c 90 § 14.
Pedestrians. Drivers also have responsibilities to pedestrians. In Massachusetts, some intersections have crosswalks with traffic signals. Some just have crosswalks. No matter how the intersection is marked, drivers must approach with caution.
Drivers must yield the right of way, slow down or stop for pedestrians at intersections. When “Walk” signals are activated, drivers have an absolute responsibility to stop. M.G.L c. 89 § 11.
Where Are The Most Dangerous Intersections in Massachusetts?
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, these are the top 10 most dangerous intersections in Massachusetts. From 2014-2016, these intersections saw the highest numbers of car accidents and injuries.
1) Lowell – VFW Highway and Bridge Street
2) Lowell – Appleton Street and Central Street
3) Boston – Morton Street and Harvard Street
4) Brockton – Ash Street and West Elm Street
5) Springfield – Saint James Avenue and Saint James Boulevard
6) Tyngsborough – Middlesex Road and Kendall Road
7) Milton – Randolph Avenue and Chickatawbut Road
8) Worcester – Kelley Square and Water Street
9) Springfield – Sumner Avenue and Belmont Avenue
10) Holyoke – High Street and Cabot Street
Finding a Boston Car Crash Lawyer
After the shock of a car crash, we understand you have many questions. Breakstone, White & Gluck is experienced in Massachusetts insurance laws, having represented injured drivers, cyclists and pedestrians since 1992. If you have been injured, you may have the right to recover damages, including for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.