Many things can cause a traffic signal to stop working properly – a power outage usually being the most common reason. While some people would argue that an accident happening at a traffic signal that was not operational would be able to blame the utility company responsible for the light, that would most likely be incorrect. Most states have laws in place protecting utility companies from this instance for this very reason.
How to treat a broken traffic light:
If you come across a broken signal, all cars should treat it as a four way stop. To any person coming upon the scene, brake and look around carefully before heading through the intersection, as some people might not stop at all. Right of way goes to the first person at the intersection, and then each successive person may take their turn.
What to do if you get in an accident involving a nonworking signal:
Immediately check for any injuries of anyone within your vehicle. Once it is safe to do so, check on the other party involved to make sure an ambulance does not need to be called. If possible, take pictures of the accident at this stage, but if it is too dangerous, pull your car to the side of the road (as long as your car is still in working condition). Notify the police of your accident. Collect and write down the other driver’s insurance, license, vehicle information, as well as everything you can remember about the details leading up to the accident. Be sure to call your insurance as soon as you are able to, as well as your attorney.
If you notice a traffic signal outage, it’s important to notify the correct authorities so that they can get in touch with whoever needs to fix the signal. Intersections can be extremely dangerous in moments like this and having the signals up and running as soon as possible is important. If you have been in an accident while driving through one of these intersections, please call Tad Morlan to see how the other parties may be at fault, and how you can recover money damages.