Motor vehicle accidents occur for many different reasons. In many circumstances, accidents occur when another driver makes an error or fails to properly follow all traffic safety laws. When a driver fails to follow the rules of the road, a court will likely find his behavior to be negligent and will often hold that driver responsible for any injuries or losses that resulted from the negligence.
One common mistake that drivers make is failing to properly yield to other vehicles or pedestrians. Drivers are usually required by law to yield in the following scenarios:
- At intersections or four-way stops
- Before making left-hand or right-hand turns
- For pedestrians in crosswalks
- While trying to merge from a smaller road or ramp
- While entering a busy street from a private lane or driveway
- When emergency vehicles sound their alarms
Though failing to yield in any of the above situations may result in an accident, failure to yield accidents most often occur in intersections. Sometimes, drivers at a four-way stop may not realize which car has the right of way to proceed through the intersection first. Additionally, a driver making a turn may disregard a traffic light or simply have a momentary lapse in concentration and may fail to yield to oncoming traffic. Furthermore, when a driver turns, he may not realize he will be driving over a crosswalk and may fail to yield to a pedestrian crossing the street.
Because failing to yield often happens in intersections, it often results in broadside accidents, in which the front of one car collides with the side of another car. Broadside accidents often cause serious injuries, since a door of a car provides much less protection for motorists than a front or rear bumper or crumple zone. Furthermore, pedestrians who are struck by a car have even less protection and, therefore, often suffer devastating injuries.