Five-Point Intersections in the Seattle Area
Here are just a few five-point intersections in the Seattle Area:
- Five Corners. Intersection of Union Bay Place NE, Mary Gates Boulevard, NE 45th Street, 35th Avenue NE and Sandpoint Way
- Five Points. In lower Queen Anne/Belltown neighborhood intersection 5th, Cedar and Denny Way
- Greenlake Five Points (pictured above). Intersection of Washington 99 (Aurora Avenue) and North 83rd Street
- Arlington Five Points. Intersection of Old Lee Highway, Old Dominion Drive, North Quincy Street and Military Road
- West Seattle Five Points. Intersection of Erskine Way SW, SW Edmunds St and California Avenue SW
- Five Points Tacoma. Intersection of Division Avenue, St. Helen’s Avenue and Tacoma Avenue South in Tacoma
Right-of-Way and Five-Point Intersections
According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all vehicles must follow right-of-way rules to safely cross intersections.
The base rule is “First to Stop = First to Go” which means that the first vehicle at the intersection goes through the intersection first. If base rule doesn’t apply, then the rule is “Farthest Right Goes First.”
For example, when two vehicles get to the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right goes first; it has the right-of-way. If neither the base rule or furthest right rule apply, then one should observe the “Straight Traffic Goes First” rule which means that when two vehicles are directly across from each other, and one is turning left, the one that is going straight goes first.
However, even if you have the right-of-way, if for any reason you feel uncomfortable or that your safety is threatened, let the other traffic go ahead. This is known as the “When in Doubt, Bail Out” which trumps all rules.
Washington State Intersection Laws
Because so many accidents occur at intersections, it’s important for all drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to understand the applicable rules. A violation of these laws may establish fault, a key in an eventual personal injury case.
According to Washington state law, right-of-way at intersections requires drivers to yield to the person to your right or to whoever approached the intersection first.
- RCW 46.61.180: (1) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
- RCW 46.61.190: (3) That if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield right-of-way.
Intersection Collisions Involving Pedestrians
Intersection accidents affect not only drivers, but pedestrians as well. Intersections involve the co-mingling of pedestrians and vehicles, and in large towns or cities, these encounters are frequent.
Pedestrians might have a traffic signal or crosswalk to aid their journey, but oftentimes a driver’s negligent behavior still makes things dangerous. A driver might hit a pedestrian while running a red light or stop sign, due to a failure to yield, speeding in order to make a light prior to turning red, left or right turns made against the crossing signal, crossing without a signal, or drivers or pedestrians who are intoxicated.
Intersection accidents involving pedestrians are typically due to human error — a driver or pedestrian making a mistake — but intersections themselves may cause accidents. For example, if a crosswalk does not allow adequate time for pedestrians to cross, a municipality or agency may be responsible for the accident.
Attorneys for Multi-Leg Intersection Accidents
Accidents at five-point intersections often involve multiple vehicles, severe impacts, serious damage to the vehicles and often life-threatening injuries or death to the accident victims.
Multiple vehicles will mean multiple insurance companies, multiple insurance adjusters and complex settlement negotiations. To get fair compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, accident victims or their families may want to seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney with expertise and experience handling complex accident cases.
For a free case evaluation with the attorneys at Davis Law Group, contact us today. Call (206) 727-4000.