What should you do with a broken traffic light?

A storm sweeps through town and knocks out power. You’re fine at your house, but you know a lot of people are without it.

You try to leave when the storm calms down, going to check on some family members to make sure they’re all right. On the way there, you come up to a dark traffic light. The power took it down, too, and now it’s not working in any direction.

A lot of accidents happen at an intersection like this. People are so used to light-controlled intersections that they have no idea what to do when the power goes out. Do you?

The general rule is that the intersection then becomes a four-way stop. Just imagine that you have a stop sign and so does everyone else. Pull up, let traffic that arrived first go through the intersection, and then carefully go on your way.

This seems simple enough, but it often causes problems, especially when a minor road hits a major one. Those on the major roadd often don’t realize that they need to stop, so you should never pull out in front and assume they will.

You even have to be careful if you’re on the major road and following the rules correctly. As you come to a stop, cars behind you may not follow suit if the drivers don’t realize they have to stop. This can cause a rear-end accident.

At the end of the day, if you’re involved in any type of crash at a broken traffic signal, it’s important to know if you have a right to compensation. If other drivers ignored the rules of the road or never knew them to start with, you certainly may.

Source: Dougherty Insurance, “Traffic Lights Not Working – What Do You Do?,” accessed Oct. 26, 2017




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