Do You Know The Law: Intersections
In our practice, we see many intersectional accidents. A car turning left in front of oncoming traffic is a common scenario. A particularly dangerous situation occurs when a vehicle speeds up to “make the light.” When a crash occurs, the increased speed can result in a major collision.
Florida law requires a driver to slow down when approaching and crossing an intersection, as intersections are considered a “special hazard.” Section 316.185, Florida Statutes, states as follows: “The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prescribed limits shall not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, or when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or other roadway conditions,…”
Many people are unaware of the requirement to slow down at intersections. The large number of intersectional accidents confirms the wisdom of the law labeling intersections a “special hazard.” An accident reconstruction expert once told me that he always waits one second after his light turns green before proceeding, as so many of his cases could have been prevented by that delay. Palm Beach County employs a one second “all red” at intersections; he was referring to one additional second thereafter – once the light turns green. This advice is sound and is worth following. Slowing down at intersections is not just good advice, though; in Florida, it’s the law.
What are the most dangerous intersections in Palm Beach County? County statistics show that the intersection of Military Trail and Okeechobee Boulevard again holds the dubious honor of having the most crashes of any intersection in Palm Beach County. The top five are:
- Military Trail and Okeechobee Boulevard
- Military Trail and Forest Hill Boulevard
- Jog Road and Forest Hill Boulevard
- Jog Road and Lake Worth Road
- Jog Road and Okeechobee Boulevard (tie) State Road 7 and Southern Boulevard
Please be mindful that all intersections require diligence. Stay safe, but know we are always here to help if you or a loved one are injured by the negligence of another.
This blog was written by Partner Mickey Smith.