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Semi-Truck Accidents: Could Flashing Yellow Arrows Prevent Them?

Civil engineers recently tweaked the nearly 150-year-old tried and true multi-color traffic light system. Convinced that their innovation would improve safety, they introduced the flashing yellow arrow, a new signal which permits drivers to make a left turn when the flow of oncoming traffic permits. While the Federal Highway Administration has approved the signal nationally, it has been adopted on a piecemeal basis across Washington State.

 Dangerous turn at problematic intersection causes major semi-truck accident

Recent accidents are raising serious questions about why the new signal isn’t being adopted more rapidly. Specifically, the mother of a teenage Rochester boy openly wondered if the flashing yellow arrow wouldn’t have prevented the semi-truck accident that left her son with extensive burns on his head, neck, hands, and legs.

The mother’s comments stem from the nature of the accident, in which a semi-truck rear-ended her son who was waiting to make a left turn. Had a flashing yellow arrow been installed, it’s possible the teen could have made his turn and avoided the collision, which launched him into a pickup in front of him injuring the driver, who turned out to be a classmate’s father.

Are flashing yellow arrows the answer?

The efficacy of flashing yellow arrows is far from clear. Opponents argue that this new signal has actually caused accidents, instead of preventing them. For example, a semi-truck in another recent crash collided with an oncoming vehicle under the misapprehension that the flashing yellow arrow meant he had carte blanche to make his turn, and didn’t need to yield to oncoming traffic.

As these accidents illustrate, there may be many responsible parties in a motor vehicle accidents, from other drivers to municipalities that fail to regulate traffic in an optimal manner via proper traffic signals.

When crashes happen, a tough semi-truck accident lawyer is the first line of defense to stop mounting medical bills and seek the monetary damages accident victims require. Contact Mark A. Hammer & Associates for experienced, skilled representation.

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Mark A. Hammer & Associates is located in Tacoma, WA and serves clients in and around Tacoma, University Place, Milton, Puyallup, Fox Island, Mcchord Afb, Lakewood, Gig Harbor, Steilacoom, Olalla, Spanaway, Dupont, Kitsap County and Pierce County.

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