Drivers do it all the time. They approach an intersection that has a stop sign and slow down. However, instead of coming to a complete stop as required by the law, they only slow down and let their vehicles roll into the intersection before accelerating once again.
While it may seem safe, it can be very dangerous. Serious accidents can occur even at low speed especially if a pedestrian is involved. Rolling stops don’t give pedestrians or the driver as much time to react. There is often no or little warning of the accident before it occurs. In fact, a 2009 study showed that 24% of car accidents involving pedestrians occurred as a result of rolling stops at intersections. According to the Traffic Safety Coalition, 33% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at intersections in 2008.
Nightmare for pedestrians
Walking has peaked in popularity over the past few years as more people have become interested in maintaining healthy lifestyles. More people are ditching their cars for a stroll. Unfortunately, as cell phones become more ubiquitous, distracted driving is more common and pedestrians face an even greater risk.
Cell phone use not only has increased the frequency of distracted driving, distracted walking has become more prevalent as well. Drivers and pedestrians alike are often texting or talking on their phones. Consequently, intersections are more dangerous than ever.
Another key hazard involving rolling stops is when there is a right hand turn involved. This is because the driver is often preoccupied with the vehicles coming from the left. If you are focused on your left, you may not see a pedestrian who wanders into the intersection on your right.
What to do
If you are a pedestrian and have been involved in a rolling stop accident, you may be eligible for compensation. For that reason, your first step should be to get in touch with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney.
Ohio law prohibits drivers from using a rolling stop at an intersection. All motorists are required to come to a full stop at a stop sign or red light before they enter the intersection.
State laws also give pedestrians the right-of-way at intersections. Accordingly, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians crossing at intersections.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call one of the attorneys in this directory to schedule your confidential claim evaluation. Your attorney will help you gather evidence and build your case. He will help you negotiate with the insurance company and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to ensure you received full compensation for your injuries.