A van driver and his passenger required hospital treatment for the injuries they suffered when their vehicle was hit and flipped by a car that ran a stop sign at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and Colonial Avenue in the Ghent section of Norfolk, Virginia (VA). The accident occurred on August 25, 2014, and police have issued a traffic citation to the woman who was behind the wheel of the car.



News reports do not indicate whether the at-fault driver was distracted or speeding when she failed to stop and yield right of way. With accident scenes photos posted to the WTKR-3 website showing a fully loaded commercial painter’s van laying on its side following the collision in the middle of a residential neighborhood, though, one has no choice but to consider that the force of the impact from the car was significant.

Stop signs and red lights exist specifically to prevent crashes that cause injuries and deaths. That should go without saying, as should mentioning that those traffic signals only do their jobs when drivers heed them. As a Virginia personal injury lawyer who was spent more than 25 years helping victims of accidents caused by other people who did not stop when signaled to do so, I know that few things excuse such negligence and recklessness. Entering an intersection too soon or without checking for oncoming cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians sets the stage for tragedy.

The driver who caused this accident in Norfolk also sustained serious injuries. Even if a desire to protect other people’s health and lives is not enough to compel drivers to stop on red, maybe recognizing the risk to themselves could?