Jeffrey Lee Howard of Hollywood Florida was riding his bicycle at the intersection of Taft Street and North 66th when he was hit by a Volvo driven by Tony Shillingford. He was killed instantly.
Intersections are particularly dangerous and not just for bike riders. In fact, almost 40% of all traffic crash accidents in Florida happen at or near an intersection. There are various causes for intersection crashes, such as when one or more drivers are distracted, intoxicated, or simply ignore the traffic signals.
When we are hired to investigate a bicycle accident at a Florida intersection our lawyers focus on the intersection itself and not just the action of the drivers. We analyze the following:
• Time of day
• Lighting condition
• Atmospheric condition
• Roadway surface condition
• Roadway alignment
• Roadway profile
• Speed limit
• Relation to junction
Not all intersections are alike. Certain kinds of intersection accidents have been shown to occur due to the geometry of the intersections in relationship to the traffic flow. The Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation at the University of Central Florida (UCF) has analyzed over 1,500 intersection accidents and discovered a predictable pattern for certain intersection configurations. Their research has created a profile manual that is helpful in locating intersections with high crash and fatalities numbers.
The results of the research is fascinating. For instance, simply increasing motorists’ awareness of an intersection by the location of the stop sign; can decrease the number of accidents. Another recommendation is to install rumble strips at intersection approaches. Rumble strips are usually recommended for application where pavement markings like ‘STOP AHEAD’ signs or flashers fail to eliminate high traffic accident occurrences. The study showed that adding a rumble strip to a stop sign-controlled intersection reduced rear-end crashes by least 50%.
Our prayers go out both families involved in this tragedy. The accident is still being investigated. However, bicycle accident attorney I am curious if the intersection in question was equipped with rumble strips or pavement markings. Based upon UCF;s research I urge the Florida’s Department of Transportation to mandate rumble strips at all major intersections.