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Fatal Head-On Collision Provides a Reminder of the Danger of Intersection Accidents

December 14, 2012

A recent fatal head-on collision in Gwinnett County serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers present at intersections where vehicles move directly in the path of other vehicles. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicated that the collision occurred where there was a break in the median at the intersection.

A section of McGinnis Ferry Road in the area between Buford Highway and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard was closed while an investigation was conducted. A person in each vehicle died when the two vehicles collided head-on.

When multiple roads intersect and vehicles move in perpendicular paths, there is a possibility of disaster when drivers fail to comply with red lights, stop signs or other traffic safety laws. Drivers who are intoxicated or distracted always pose a significant danger to other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, but this type of unsafe driving practice is even more dangerous when it occurs when vehicles must cross one another’s path. Alcohol impaired and distracted drivers present an increased risk of ignoring a stoplight, yield sign or stop sign, which are the most typical causes of intersection collisions.

Exceeding the speed limit in the vicinity of intersections is also an extremely reckless practice. When motorists violate the speed limit as they approach an intersection, they may be unable to respond in time to the following:

  • Changes in the traffic light
  • Pedestrians or bicyclists entering a crosswalk
  • Other drivers that disregard traffic signals or signs
  • Yield and stop signs

While the vast majority of Atlanta intersection accidents are the result of these types of driver errors, sometimes potentially fatal intersection accidents are caused by poorly designed or maintained intersections. Intersections signs may be obscured and traffic signals may not be properly timed. Even when the design of the intersection is sound, traffic signals are electronic devices that may malfunction. While a public entity that maintains roadways and intersections is not necessarily liable for a traffic signal that fails, governmental entities are expected to take reasonable care when they know or should know of such hazards.

When determining whether a public entity is liable in such a situation, there are a multitude of factors that may be relevant, which may include the duration of the problem, reports made to inform the public entity and remedial measures taken by the government entity. When the design or maintenance of the intersection contributes to a collision in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, it is important to seek legal advice promptly because you may need to file a notice of claim within 12 months.

It is important to keep in mind that time deadlines apply to all legal matters. Failure to take the required action in a timely fashion can result in the loss of your rights to compensation. The time frames are even shorter when it involves a claim against a government entity and special notice requirements also apply.

Our Georgia accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.