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Avoiding Line-of-Sight Car Crashes in Pennsylvania

two hands on the steering wheelYou need a clear view of the road and the traffic around you to safely operate a car, especially when you are making a turn or pulling onto a busy roadway. Unfortunately, there are many types of obstructions that could block your line of sight and make it much more difficult to operate your vehicle safely.

When a driver’s line of sight is obstructed by something and a crash occurs, it may be referred to as a line-of-sight car crash. Our experienced attorneys discuss these types of crashes in detail, including common reasons they occur and liability for damages, which can be complicated.

Victims of line-of-sight crashes or other types of auto accidents may be eligible to seek compensation for their damages, including the cost of medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering. At Schmidt Kramer, there are no upfront costs for our services, which means our attorneys do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation from a settlement or jury verdict.

Why Line-of-Sight Car Accidents Happen

Whenever a driver’s view of the road and/or traffic is fully or partially obstructed, there is a much higher risk for a crash. Sometimes an obstruction is created by another driver’s negligence, and sometimes the party that designed the road or was responsible for maintaining it bears fault for a crash.

There are countless examples of obstructions that could play a role in a car crash:

  • Trees
  • Bushes
  • Hedges
  • Shrubbery
  • Cars that are legally or illegally parked
  • Stop signs or other road signs
  • Commercial vehicles, such as trucks or moving vans
  • Hills or inclines in the road, especially when they conceal oncoming traffic
  • Curves drivers cannot see around
  • Construction vehicles
  • Construction equipment
  • Pedestrians
  • Decorative statues

These obstacles can raise the risk of a crash no matter where they are, but they can be especially dangerous when drivers are attempting to turn left or right. Obstructions make it difficult to determine if traffic is clear and it is OK to make the turn.

The problem is many drivers do not wait to get a clearer view of traffic or pull up farther to determine if they have enough time to make a turn. This is incredibly dangerous because they could start to pull out into an intersection or onto a road only to see a car heading right at them.

While obstructions are a risk for the drivers who are making turns or pulling onto the road, they are also dangerous for oncoming drivers. Both drivers could have an obstructed view and not realize they are heading right for each other.

Liability for Line-of-Sight Car Crashes

Drivers have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents. For example, drivers must be cautious when turning or pulling out into traffic. Cars that are already in motion have the right of way. You must make sure traffic is clear before pulling out or making a turn. Try to avoid pulling out too far and leaving the front of your car in a lane of traffic.

Even if there is an obstruction, you may have been able to see around it if you had pulled up farther. If you get into a crash, the party responsible for the obstruction may bear liability, but you may also bear liability for not pulling up farther. Assuming you will have enough time to speed up to the flow of traffic when you cannot see around an obstruction is negligence.

It is important to remember some of the most dangerous crashes occur when one or both drivers have little time to react. That means the speed at impact is likely to be greater, increasing the risk of serious or even life-threatening injuries.

In Pennsylvania, like most states, victims and negligent parties may share fault for a crash. The state bars injury victims from recovering compensation if they are 51 percent or more at fault for an accident. If they are less than 51 percent at fault, their compensation award will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

You may share fault with another driver, or the party responsible for the obstruction, such as a commercial truck driver, construction company, or landscaping company. Road designers or government entities responsible for maintaining roadways may also bear some amount of fault for line-of-sight crashes.

Property owners may be liable for failing to cut down tree branches or trim shrubbery to give drivers a clear view of oncoming traffic.

As fault can be a complex issue, it is important to discuss the situation with a licensed Harrisburg-based car accident attorney.

Avoiding Line-of-Sight Car Crashes

You can take precautions to lower your risk of a line-of-sight car crash. For example, if you regularly go to a business that has road obstructions around some of the traffic entrances/exits, you could use the entrance/exit without any obstructions. It might take you a little out of your way, but you can be sure you have a clear view of the road.

If it takes a little longer to assess whether traffic is clear, that is OK. It is better to take your time and be safe than rush and get into an accident.

If the obstruction is a vehicle and the driver is nearby, you could give a friendly wave to indicate you are trying to get by. The driver may move his or her vehicle to make it easier for you to see.

Sometimes obstructions make it much more dangerous to make a left turn than a right turn. In that situation, you may want to make the right turn and make a U-turn later to get where you are going.

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Crash

Car crashes happen every day, and they can cause severe injuries that may affect victims for a long time or even the rest of their lives.

Victims need legal help because they cannot count on the insurance company taking care of them. At Schmidt Kramer, we have been assisting car crash victims for decades and have secured millions on their behalf.

We are prepared to help you seek the compensation you need to secure your future, all at no upfront cost to you. The initial consultation is also free.

Schmidt Kramer is ready to help. Call today: (717) 727-2550.