Green lights do not always mean the intersection is safe

When your light turns green, you assume that means two things. First, the cross-traffic has stopped because they now have a red light. Second, it is safe for you to proceed into the intersection, whether you are turning or just driving through.

Unfortunately, both assumptions may not be true. They technically should be. Other traffic is supposed to stop. It is supposed to be safe. But that doesn’t mean everything has worked out as intended.

Remember, people run red lights all of the time. Some do it accidentally, perhaps because they looked down and didn’t see the light change. Others do it intentionally, deciding to run the red to avoid having to stop — or because they tried to speed up for the yellow light and still didn’t make it.

Don’t think of a green light as something that protects you. It offers no physical protection at all. It just tells you what should happen if everyone around you follows the rules of the road. But, for that to happen, you need to trust those other drivers to uphold their side of the deal. If they don’t follow the rules and you drive into their path, though it’s not your fault at all, you could still get involved in a very serious accident.

That accident could leave you facing high medical bills and enduring a lot of pain and suffering. It could leave you with a disability that means you can’t work or at least cause you to lose short-term wages. Make sure you know if you have a right to compensation for your costs.