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Who’s Responsible For Stop Sign Accidents?

Stop signs are essential for the continuation of safe travel upon our roadways. Without stop signs—and without the authority of those who enforce the laws pertaining to them—the roads would be a chaotic mess. How safe have the roads become due to traffic control devices and signs? After all, we’ve been using them in the United States since 1915; how are they holding up?

Based on previous studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), it’s safe to assume that about 40 percent of all crashes that happen on our roadways today take place within an intersection. Assuming those numbers are accurate, it means we’ve seen an extraordinary decrease (nearly 50%) in intersection-related crashes since a mere 10 years ago when the FHWA recruited 26 states to help with conducting a nationwide “stop sign safety test”. The results of the test led to the eventual increase in safety standards for stop signs. It was in 2007 when the minimum required level of retro-reflectivity—a layered coating method that better captures and effectively disperses light evenly across the object—was raised significantly to ensure higher visibility in places of low illumination.

The conditions of roadways, traffic control devices, and more

As a previous blog post of ours stated, the condition of the road and its components (including traffic signs, devices, and regulators) can and has caused a great deal of accidents. It’s a breath of fresh air to see organizations like the FHWA taking steps to make our roadways safer. The previously mentioned blog post goes on to explain how malfunctioning traffic lights are the culprit of a surprisingly large amount of auto accidents. For example, a set of defective signals could illuminate green for all directions of traffic and lead to a devastating series of accidents.

However, while those generous organizations are working hard to keep everything in tip-top condition, the degradation rate of pretty much anything open to the public can be difficult to keep up with. Those retro-reflective stop signs that have decreased crash rates at intersections? Well, it’s that very coating that degrades in a matter of years and becomes an incomprehensible layer of faded paint. Not everyone looks for the classic octagonal-shaped stop sign; instead keeping an eye out for its reflective candy red hue. Fading stop signs contribute to people with marginal eyesight blowing past them at high speeds and colliding with a car that has the right-of-way; we don’t want that.  

Forgetting what you learned in Driver’s Ed

Even after driving for as long as I have been, I often find myself forgetting certain “rules of the road” if you will. Sometimes it’s the simple things like “Who has the right-of-way in this situation?” or “My blinker is out…how do I signal a left turn again?” that stumps us on the road. Those moments that leave you wondering as you’re driving away; those questions that leave you distracted as you search for the answers on your phone. A simple flip through a Driver’s Ed handbook could answer those questions for you; but we’re here to help.

Accidents are caused every day by so many different factors. Whether it’s a degrading stop sign that the city has failed to repair, or the forgetful mind of a negligent driver that leads to a horrific accident, it’s always a stressful, saddening situation. No one wants to take the blame for an accident; sometimes it seems like there is no one to blame; other times you just need someone to help you through the difficult legal procedures.


There’s no better way to go over your case than to speak with an experienced attorney directly who deals with emotional scenarios like these on a daily basis. Even though no amount of financial compensation can replace the good health or sometimes life of a loved one, it can relieve some of the immeasurable amount of stress placed on the family of the victim. If you or a loved one has been injured, or if a loved one has been killed in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or lack of care, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today for a free consultation and case evaluation at 727-451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765