What Are the Leading Causes of Intersection Crashes in Lafayette, Louisiana?

overhead shot during daytime of intersection

Heavy traffic and driver negligence can be a deadly combination in intersections. These collisions often happen at high speed or involve the side of one of the vehicles, greatly increasing the risk of serious injuries.

In this blog, our Lafayette car accident lawyers discuss the leading causes of intersection accidents, common types of these collisions and the devastating effects. We also provide tips on what drivers can do to avoid these accidents.

At Galloway Jefcoat, we understand the devastating impact intersection accidents have on victims and their families. With more than two decades of experience, we have helped countless clients navigate the aftermath of accidents and recovered hundreds of millions on their behalf.

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an intersection accident caused by a negligent driver, call us for legal assistance.

No upfront fees or costs. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today: 337-984-8020.

What Are the Most Common Types of Intersection Accidents?

Negligent drivers can cause many types of collisions inside intersections. These are some of the most common types of intersection accidents:

  • T-bone Collisions: This happens when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another, forming a T-shape. These are incredibly dangerous because the sides of most vehicles offer much less protection than the front or back. The doors cannot absorb the impact as well as the front or rear bumper, often causing the side of the vehicle to crumple inward.
  • Rear-End Collisions: These often happen when one driver is distracted or trying to run through a yellow or red light. This driver crashes into the back of the lead vehicle. Sometimes that is all that happens, but the collision could push the lead car into the path of oncoming traffic, causing a multi-vehicle crash.
  • Left-Turn Accidents: These types of collisions often occur when a driver makes a left turn or U-turn at an intersection and crashes into oncoming traffic. Often, the driver making the turn attempted to do so without enough time and space to do so. Some left-turn collisions happen when the turning driver has the right of way, but an oncoming driver runs through a red light.
  • Sideswipe Collisions: Two vehicles traveling parallel to each other may graze each other inside an intersection when one driver tries to change lanes. This is not only illegal, but drivers who cause these collisions were often negligent for not checking their blind spots.
  • Multiple-Vehicle Collisions: The initial collision triggers a chain reaction, pulling multiple vehicles into the crash. This often happens when one driver makes a reckless maneuver in the path of other vehicles that do not have time to slow down or move out of the way.

Louisiana Laws About Intersections

These are just a few of the state laws about intersections that drivers should know:

Revised Statutes 32:104

  • Drivers cannot turn unless they are correctly positioned on the road. This also applies when turning onto a private road or driveway or changing direction.
  • You should not make a turn or change lanes unless you can do so with reasonable safety.
  • You must use your turn signal before turning left or right. You need to click on your turn signal at least 100 feet before you intend to turn.

Revised Statutes 32:121

  • If you reach the intersection at the same time as another vehicle, the driver to the left must yield to the driver on the right.

Why do Most Intersection Crashes Happen?

Negligent drivers cause most intersection crashes in Lafayette, which means they are liable for the damages that result. Our attorneys help those injured by negligent drivers to secure compensation for their medical costs and other damages.

These are the common forms of driver negligence that typically result in a collision inside an intersection:

  • Distracted Driving: Many drivers are not paying attention. They allow themselves to get distracted by their smartphones. They may make a phone call, send or read text messages, or use social media while their vehicle is in motion. Other drivers get distracted by the radio or because they are adjusting the air conditioning. Some drivers eat, drink or groom themselves while they are behind the wheel. Distraction is often the culprit in rear-end collisions along with running a red light at an intersection or sideswiping another vehicle.
  • Failure to Yield the Right of Way: Intersection accidents usually occur because drivers failed to yield the right of way. For example, trying to make a left or right turn when you do not have the time or space to safely do so is a violation of an oncoming driver’s right-of-way. U-turning drivers often fail to yield the right of way. This could be because drivers misunderstand traffic signals. Some drivers are simply aggressive, and they do not care about traffic laws.
  • Speeding: Many drivers are impatient, and they often try to beat yellow or even red lights. They may also try to make a turn at high speed, even though there is not enough time or space to safely turn. Sometimes these drivers narrowly avoid collisions, and other times they are not so lucky. Speeding is also dangerous as you approach an intersection. If you are going too fast, you will not be able to safely slow down before going into the intersection. This causes drivers to try to run through the intersection. High-speed impacts in intersections are particularly dangerous and often result in catastrophic injuries or death.
  • Illegal or Unsafe Turns: Making illegal or unsafe turns, especially left or right turns without enough distance from oncoming cars, can cause serious accidents. Some turns, such as turns on red lights or U-turns, are illegal at intersections with signs that specifically prohibit these maneuvers. These signs were put there for a reason: making the turn is dangerous because of heavy traffic or a lack of space.
  • Attempting to Beat a Yellow or Red Light: Yellow lights advise drivers to slow down in preparation for a red light. Running a yellow light is dangerous because oncoming traffic could enter the intersection at the same time you do. Here is one type of accident scenario: A driver turning left on the opposite side of the road may think an oncoming car will slow down at a yellow light and stop at a red light. If the driver tries to beat the light, it could lead to a severe side-impact or head-on crash.
  • Running Through a Stop Sign: Drivers often do a rolling stop at intersections controlled by stop signs. They do not carefully check for oncoming cars before proceeding into the intersection. This is incredibly dangerous and can result in a serious crash, even at a relatively slow speed.

What Are Some Other Causes of Intersection Collisions Besides Reckless Drivers?

Sometimes bad weather contributes to intersection accidents in Lafayette. Puddles can cause vehicles to hydroplane over the road, causing drivers to lose control.

Rain or fog can make it much harder to see the vehicles around and in front of you. This makes it harder to react to danger.

Another factor besides negligent driving is an obstructed view. Sometimes it is difficult for drivers who want to make a turn to see oncoming cars. Trees, bushes, construction work and other obstructions could block their view.

However, drivers cannot blame weather or an obstructed view for a crash. Drivers are supposed to account for these factors and adjust their driving accordingly, such as by slowing down and increasing following distance.

What Injuries Happen in Intersection Car Accidents in Lafayette?

Intersection accidents can cause serious, even life-threatening injuries, such as:

  • Whiplash: This commonly happens in rear-end collisions. This happens when the sudden impact jerks your head back and forth, straining neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms like pain, stiffness, and reduced neck motion may appear, sometimes even days after the accident.
  • Broken Bones: Broken bones often occur in high-impact collisions. The force of the collision can fracture bones. Sometimes victims suffer a clean break, but high-speed collisions can cause complex fractures that may require surgical intervention. Victims may need lengthy rehabilitation to restore full function and strength. Once you recover, there is still a chance of experiencing chronic pain. Crash victims could break bones in their legs, such as the femur, fibula or tibia. You could even break or dislocate bones in the hip or pelvis.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Car crashes can cause the body to move around in awkward ways. For instance, some crashes cause your body to make a twisting motion, which could damage the spinal cord. You could also suffer blunt force trauma to your back, that could fracture vertebra and lead to paralysis.
  • Head Injuries: Head injuries are among the most serious injuries that can occur in intersection accidents. Concussions, a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), can result from your brain being shaken inside your skull. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, confusion and memory issues. More severe head injuries can lead to long-term cognitive problems and physical disabilities. Medical evaluation and monitoring are crucial, as symptoms can sometimes lead to more severe conditions if left untreated.
  • Emotional Distress: Victims may experience significant emotional distress, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions can manifest through nightmares, flashbacks of the accident, severe anxiety when thinking about driving and withdrawal from daily activities. Professional psychological support and therapy are often needed to help individuals cope with the trauma and regain their quality of life.

Injured in an Intersection Accident? Call Galloway Jefcoat

If you suffered injuries from an intersection accident in Lafayette or the surrounding area, Galloway Jefcoat is here to help. If we determine you have a case, and you hire our firm to represent you, we can guide you through the process of securing the compensation you deserve.

There are no upfront costs and the initial legal consultation with an experienced lawyer is free.

Contact us at 337-984-8020 to explore your legal options.