Right on Red Collisions
Making a right turn on a red light is legal in Florida unless specifically prohibited by signage. There is a reason for this: the federal government in 1975 included a requirement in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act that states allow right turns on red as a condition for receiving federal funds.
However, a substantial body of research shows that these turns are dangerous, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. For example, a study in the 1980s found that right-on-red turns increased pedestrian collisions by 60% and cyclist collisions by 100%. Other studies have found that a large percentage of those injured in these accidents were walking at the time or using a bicycle.
If you have been struck in a right-on-red collision, meet with an attorney today. You could have a legal right to compensation.
Why Right-on-Red Accidents Happen
Fla. Stat. § 316.075 requires that motorists stop at an intersection before making the right-hand turn. They should also check that pedestrians are not in the crosswalk or about to enter. The law requires that a motorist making a right-on-red yield the right of way to pedestrians and other traffic that is following a traffic signal.
Unfortunately, far too many drivers simply “roll through” a stop without checking if the way is clear. Typically, they only become aware of someone already in the intersection when they are literally right on top of them.
There are many reasons why motorists refuse to stop before making the turn, including impatience, recklessness, and carelessness. Drivers who are distracted by cell phone use also are not giving driving their undivided attention. When a driver does not follow the rules of the road, they generally are at fault for the collision and should be held accountable.
Obtaining Compensation for a Right-on-Red Accident
A pedestrian or cyclist struck in this type of accident can suffer serious injuries. Fractures, concussions, abrasions, and back injuries are common. Some victims require surgery or months of rest and rehabilitation before they begin to feel better and are able to return to work.
Obtaining compensation can be a challenge, however, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. If you have registered a vehicle, you should have a personal injury protection policy for at least $10,000. Fortunately, you can usually access these benefits when injured as a pedestrian in a collision with a car. Even if you don’t have PIP coverage, you might live with a family member who does, and their policy can cover you.
We also will discuss whether it makes sense to sue the driver who struck you. If you sue, you can receive full compensation for all economic and non-economic losses, including pain and suffering.
Let Us Help You Today
Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. has represented victims in every type of car accident imaginable, including right-on-red and other failure to yield collisions. Our Florida car accident lawyers have skill at reconstructing how accidents happened and pinpointing the party at fault. Let us put our skills and knowledge to work for you by calling us to schedule a free consultation.