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Intersections Cases Summarized By Car Accident Lawyer

Intersections is a page within Virginia Tort Case Law which is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Intersections and the related topic of vehicle accidents.  For more information about traffic collisions see the pages on Wikipedia.

Intersections Miscellaneous

See Va. Code § 46.2-100 for definition.

2010 Rascher v. Friend, 279 Va. 370, 689 S.E.2d 661.
Plaintiff was riding a bicycle on a residential two-lane road. As plaintiff approached intersection, oncoming vehicle made left turn in front of him. After collision, defendant admitted fault and prepaid statutory fine for failing to yield right of way. Trial court improperly struck plaintiff’s evidence on the grounds of contributory negli- gence. The jury reasonably could have concluded that the plaintiff was not negligent or, in the alternative, that any such negligence was not a proximate cause of the collision.

1993 Loving v. Hayden, 245 Va. 441, 429 S.E.2d 8.
Plaintiff traveling north making left turn at intersection. Guard shack was 65 feet north of intersection in middle of road at entrance to NASA center. Plaintiff maintained that guard shack obstructed view of south bound defendant’s vehicle. Jury was entitled to conclude that plaintiff’s view of defendant’s vehicle was obstructed by guard shack and that she did not see vehicle even though she exercised reasonable care. Question of whether or not defendant’s vehicle was in plain view was question of fact to be resolved by jury.

1975 Boyd v. Diggs, 215 Va. 560, 211 S.E.2d 97.
Plaintiff attempted to pass defendant in close proximity to intersection in violation of statute. This was contributory negligence as matter of law.

1968 Sayre v. Shields, 209 Va. 409, 164 S.E.2d 665.
Plaintiff had right of way and she testified that she never saw defendant’s taxicab until it struck her car. Taxicab had stopped before entering intersection and was in plain view. Plaintiff offered no excuse for failure to see defendant’s cab and is therefore guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law.

1966 White v. John Doe, 207 Va. 276, 148 S.E.2d 797.
Plaintiff policeman was pursuing speeding motorist on his motorcycle. As officer came alongside left rear side of vehicle it suddenly turned left into intersecting street. Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law as police officer not exempt from requirements of statute.

1963 Giannone v. Johnson, 204 Va. 493, 132 S.E.2d 445.
Defendant’s vehicle stopped in crossover median area between east and west lanes of traffic and was allegedly protruding into plaintiff’s lane. Verdict for defendant.

1961 Brown v. Arthur, 202 Va. 624, 119 S.E.2d 315.
Intersections defined as area within prolongation or connection of lateral curb lines or lateral boundary lines of roadway. Roads that meet but do not cross are intersecting roads.

1960 Ragsdale v. Jones, 202 Va. 278, 117 S.E.2d 114.
Requirement that changing of lanes be made in safety applies in intersections.

1951 Reese v. Snelson, 192 Va. 479, 65 S.E.2d 547.
Court discusses boundaries of T-intersections. There is private driveway which partially overlaps oncoming street. Intersection will extend to prolongated lateral line of private driveway.

1951 Leo Butler Co. v. Wilbun, 192 Va. 263, 64 S.E.2d 738.
Intersection collision where defendant allegedly did not have headlights on.

1950 Caldwell v. Parker, 191 Va. 471, 62 S.E.2d 34.
Plaintiff’s vehicle struck by another vehicle greatly exceeding speed limit at busy intersection. It was not incumbent upon plaintiff to ensure his safe passage into and along highway from dangers of speeding car that may well have been beyond range of reasonable vision.

1949 Lanier v. Johnson, 190 Va. 1, 55 S.E.2d 442.
It is negligence to turn through intersections without proceeding past center of intersection and without giving signal of intent to turn.

Intersections-Stop Sign

See Va. Code § 46.2-821.

1993 Henderson v. Gay, 245 Va. 478, 429 S.E.2d 14.
Auto accident at intersection controlled by 4-way stop. Witness testified that plaintiff stopped at intersection, looked both ways, and then proceeded into intersection. Witness further testified that he observed defendant’s vehicle approaching intersection at speed of 40–50 miles per hour, did not stop at stop sign, but slid into intersection. Witness stated that plaintiff’s vehicle was in middle of intersection when he first saw defendant’s vehicle approaching and that when plaintiff entered intersection defendant’s vehicle was 2½ car lengths away from intersection. Trial court overturned jury verdict in favor of plaintiff on grounds that plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law because of his failure to observe defendant’s vehicle when it was 2½ car lengths away from intersection as plaintiff entered intersection. Plaintiff testified that she did not see defendant’s vehicle until plaintiff was in middle of intersection. Jury was entitled to disregard conflicting testimony of witness and to accept plaintiff’s testimony. Jury issue presented.

1981 Butler v. Yates, 222 Va. 550, 281 S.E.2d 905.
Driver with right-of-way must keep reasonable lookout for other vehicles. Plaintiff held not contributorily negligent as matter of law where there was no evidence that he was aware or should have been aware that defendant would cross intersection. Plaintiff had no obligation to continuously watch for vehicles that might dart in front of him.

1977 Underwood v. City of Radford, 217 Va. 891, 234 S.E.2d 253.
Negligence as matter of law for defendant to drive into intersections through stop sign when truck on intersecting street was at point dangerously near and in plain view. Plaintiff’s knowledge that intersection was controlled by stop sign and that he had right-of-way does not exclude him from exercising ordinary care. Jury could find that accident could have been avoided by plaintiff’s maintaining proper lookout or proper control.

1975 Cabbage v. Meadows, 215 Va. 502, 211 S.E.2d 262.
Intersections. Fact that plaintiff had right-of-way over defendant stopped at stop sign did not relieve him of duty of exercising reasonable care. Defendant would not be guilty of negligence as matter of law, if while exercising such care, she entered intersection under belief that she had time and opportunity to safely cross.

1974 Groome v. Birkhead, 214 Va. 429, 201 S.E.2d 789.
Intersections.Stop sign case. Jury question presented as to gross negligence.

1971 Cunningham v. King, 212 Va. 126, 183 S.E.2d 157.
Plaintiff stopped at stop sign and then proceeded into intersection where collision occurred with defendant approaching from right. Plaintiff did not see defendant until impact. Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law.

1969 Powell v. Nichols, 209 Va. 654, 166 S.E.2d 243.
Intersections.Insufficient evidence presented as to operator having passed stop sign.

1967 Virginia Transit v. Hill, 208 Va. 171, 156 S.E.2d 888.
Defendant stopped at stop sign and was struck in intersection by other vehicle that did not have stop sign. Defendant found not liable.

1965 Newman v. Dalton, 206 Va. 119, 141 S.E.2d 677.
Intersection accident after plaintiff had stopped for stop sign. When driver stops and looks in both directions for approaching traffic on public highway, acting as reasonably prudent person, he is not negligent as matter of law if he attempts to enter intersection under reasonable belief that he has enough time to cross.

1965 Barham v. Bank, 206 Va. 153, 142 S.E.2d 569.
Defendant either did not stop for stop sign or did not look before entering intersection when looking would have disclosed plaintiff’s vehicle. Jury question presented as to whether defendant was guilty of gross negligence.

1962 Fleming v. Bowman, 203 Va. 876, 128 S.E.2d 290.
Intersections.Defendant passed stop sign. Gross negligence was jury issue.

1958 Gammon v. Hyde, 199 Va. 918, 103 S.E.2d 221.
Intersections.Defendant had stop sign at which he stopped before entering main road. Co-defendant is on main road. There was evidence that had co-defendant maintained lookout, he would have seen defendant start to cross and could have avoided collision. Jury issue presented.

1956 Anchor Motor Freight v. Paul, 198 Va. 480, 95 S.E.2d 179.
Intersections.Court instructed jury that if plaintiff stopped at stop sign, saw approaching trucks at distance which would warrant prudent man to conclude that it was safe to proceed, then plaintiff had right to proceed.

1956 Ashworth v. Baker, 197 Va. 582, 90 S.E.2d 860.
Vehicle in which plaintiff was passenger was struck in intersection. Jury justified in finding for plaintiff as they could conclude that defendant was guilty of negligence for failing to see other vehicle until immediately before impact.

1954 Kennedy v. McElroy, 195 Va. 1078, 81 S.E.2d 436.
Intersections.Plaintiff guest injured when defendant drove car into stop sign in center of road. Evidence sufficient to sustain jury verdict in favor of plaintiff that defendant was guilty of gross negligence.

1954 Dodd v. Coakley, 195 Va. 554, 79 S.E.2d 648.
Plaintiff’s employee struck and killed by defendant’s vehicle in intersection. Evidence showed decedent was past middle when hit, had used care in entering intersection, and that defendant’s vehicle was block away when he entered intersection. Defendant’s negligence admitted and it was for jury to decide issue of contributory negligence; verdict for plaintiff upheld. Several similar cases cited.

1953 Tellis v. Traynham, 195 Va. 447, 78 S.E.2d 581.
Plaintiff’s vehicle struck by defendant’s at intersection. Questions of plaintiff’s contributory negligence for jury in that there were questions as to whether or not he should have proceeded from stop sign into path of defendant or after proceeding, whether he should have stopped in middle of road to avoid collision.

1952 Umberger v. Koop, 194 Va. 123, 72 S.E.2d 370.
Operator has right to assume that highway department has erected stop sign at proper place for him to stop. Law does not require operator to bring his vehicle to stop within stated number of feet of intersections. Sign is notice that danger lies ahead.

1950 Oliver v. Forsyth, 190 Va. 710, 58 S.E.2d 49.
Presence of stop sign at intersections imposes duty on motorist to stop and look with reasonable care.

1949 Richmond Oil Equip. Co. v. Holt, 189 Va. 334, 53 S.E.2d 11.
Intersection collision where defendant had stop sign. Verdict for plaintiff.

1942 Remine v. Whited, 180 Va. 1, 21 S.E.2d 743.
Vehicle entering arterial highway had stop sign and had nearly passed through intersection when accident occurred. Both drivers guilty of concurrent negligence.

Intersections-Traffic Devices

See Va. Code § 46.2-830 stating that disobedience of traffic signal shall not be violation if it is not in its proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by ordinarily observant person.

1991 Medlar v. Mohan, 242 Va. 162, 409 S.E.2d 123.
Plaintiff approached intersection at approximately same time as defendant. Plaintiff had green light. Plaintiff failed to see defendant as she entered intersection. Green light is not unqualified command to come into intersections. It is only command to do so in exercise of reasonable care. Issue of contributory negligence properly submitted to jury.

1979 Damron v. Hagy, 220 Va. 455, 258 S.E.2d 517.
Intersections.Green light does not suspend duty motorist owes to other motorists to be on lookout.

1979 Transportation, Inc. v. City of Falls Church, 219 Va. 1004, 254 S.E.2d 62.
Municipality enjoys sovereign immunity regarding malfunctioning traffic signals. Taxi and automobile collided at intersection where traffic signal was not functioning.

1966 Cook v. Basnight, 207 Va. 491, 151 S.E.2d 408.
Defendant struck plaintiff’s vehicle at intersection when his brakes failed and emergency brake could not stop car in time. Defendant as result, ran red light. Burden shifted to defendant to show violation beyond his control.

1962 Finney v. Finney, 203 Va. 530, 125 S.E.2d 191.
Malfunctioning traffic light. Driver of plaintiff’s car failed to yield to vehicle on right. This was due to driver momentarily looking down to see granddaughter. No gross negligence as matter of law.

1961 Garnett v. Paul, 203 Va. 79, 122 S.E.2d 662.
Defendant entered intersection after stopping at yield sign. Insufficient evidence of gross negligence.

1957 Arney v. Bogstad, 199 Va. 460, 100 S.E.2d 749.
Pedestrian intersection accident. Green light is command to move forward in exercise of reasonable care.

1957 Bogstad v. Hope, 199 Va. 453, 100 S.E.2d 745.
Testimony of plaintiff was that when defendant was approximately 250 feet away from light it was red for him. No evidence as to color of light when defendant entered intersection, therefore no basis for instruction on red light.

1952 Virginia Transit Co. v. Tidd, 194 Va. 418, 73 S.E.2d 405.
Passing red light was found to be concurring cause of accident.

1952 Manhattan For Hire Car Corp. v. O’Connell, 194 Va. 398, 73 S.E.2d 410.
Defendant’s reckless and unlawful entry of intersection against red light did more than merely create condition out of which collision arose, it was efficiently contributing cause of accident.

1947 Hatfield v. Thomas, 186 Va. 7, 41 S.E.2d 460.
Defendant entered intersection on red light; verdict for plaintiff.

1946 VEPCO v. Holland, 184 Va. 893, 37 S.E.2d 40.
Individual with green light not required to stop, look, and listen before crossing at intersections. He has right to assume that oncoming vehicle will yield to him until notice to contrary. Passing of red light at busy intersection is gross negligence.

1945 Brown v. Wallace, 184 Va. 570, 35 S.E.2d 793.
Malfunctioning traffic light contributed to confusion at intersection which was scene of accident. One party allegedly knew of defective light.


See Va. Code § 46.2-824 requiring at “T” intersections that traffic on highway that intersects, but does not cross, other highway yield right-of-way to other vehicles if intersection is not controlled by any traffic control device and vehicles arrive at intersection at approximately same time.

2000 Sugarland Run Homeowners Ass’n v. Halfmann, 260 Va. 366, 535 S.E.2d 469.
Automobile accident between eight-year-old on bike and motorist. Eight-year-old was traveling on pathway that intersected with roadway. Pathway was a downhill grade and there were no warning devices for motorists. Supreme court concluded that there was insufficient evidence of proximate cause since there was no evidence that eight-year-old attempted to stop and no evidence that he could not do so because of grade of path. Evidence was that eight-year-old did not alter speed, never stopped, and did not look for oncoming vehicles as he approached intersection. There was also evidence that roadway and intersection were clearly visible to eight-year-old. Evidence presented as to sight lines depends on respective speeds of the two vehicles but no evidence was presented to demonstrate speed of either vehicle. As such, evidence is insufficient as a matter of law to establish proximate cause. Although all accidents have some factual cause, often described as the “but for rule,” generally, a person is not liable to another unless but for that person’s negligent act, harm would not have occurred. In this case, plaintiff failed to carry burden to establish that but for the alleged negligence of the owner of the pathway, accident would not have occurred.

1984 Perkins v. Carr, 227 Va. 16, 313 S.E.2d 372.
Under Va. Code § 46.1-221 [now § 46.2-820], plaintiff is guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law for failure to yield to vehicle on her right where no signs controlled intersections. Supreme Court refused to implement rule favoring more important road over less important road, stating that that is question for legislature. Supreme Court affirmed granting of motion to strike. Because issue of proximate cause had not been assigned as error, that issue could not be considered. Dissent indicates that if that issue had been before Supreme Court, then trial court decision would have been overturned because there was jury issue as to whether or not defendant had duty to take evasive action.

1982 Swisher v. Swisher, 223 Va. 499, 290 S.E.2d 856.
When vehicles do not approach or enter intersection at approximately same time but vehicle on left enters substantially first, neither driver has right-of-way and each has duty to exercise ordinary care to avoid collision.

1973 Sager v. Ortts, 214 Va. 318, 200 S.E.2d 539.
Defendant on secondary street stopped at intersection for line of traffic on main street. Even though defendant was vehicle on right, right-of-way statute not applicable since defendant obliged to yield to line of traffic passing through intersections.

1972 Batts v. Capps, 213 Va. 174, 191 S.E.2d 227.
Accident at uncontrolled intersection where view partially obstructed by hedge. Evidence showed that driver of truck and operator of automobile both proceeded to drive blindly into intersection. Error to give unavoidable accident instruction.

1969 King v. Eccles, 209 Va. 726, 167 S.E.2d 349.
Vehicle on more important highway not necessarily favored over vehicle on less important highway. Defendant’s vehicle struck by plaintiff’s at uncontrolled intersection. Defendant stopped before entering intersection. Since vehicles approached or entered intersection at approximately same time, vehicle on plaintiff’s right had right-of-way. Defendant did not forfeit his right-of-way by stopping before entering intersections.

1966 Fanner v. Marine Center, Inc., 206 Va. 737, 146 S.E.2d 265.
If vehicle on left enters intersection before vehicle on right, then neither vehicle has right-of-way but both must exercise ordinary care.

1965 Bolinaga v. Savage, 206 Va. 336, 143 S.E.2d 839.
Plaintiff and defendant entered intersection at approximately same time with defendant on right. Driver on right has right-of-way. Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law. Fact that defendant stopped before entering intersection does not result in forfeiture of right-of-way.

1964 Sears v. Geyer, 205 Va. 469, 137 S.E.2d 873.
Jury issue as to who approached intersection first.

1964 Alford v. Frye, 205 Va. 7, 135 S.E.2d 101.
When two vehicles approach intersection at approximately same time, vehicle on right has right-of-way. Conflicting evidence in this case as to who approached first.

1962 Frye v. Alford, 203 Va. 461, 125 S.E.2d 177.
Plaintiff was vehicle on left. Plaintiff slowed down as he approached intersection, looked to his right and did not see defendant because his vision was obstructed by tree and parked car. He was more than half way through intersection when accident occurred. Jury issue presented.

1961 Ewell v. Eliott, 203 Va. 201, 123 S.E.2d 391.
Vehicle on right has right-of-way if vehicles reach intersection at approximately same time. This latter element is usually jury question.

1961 Moore v. Warren, 203 Va. 117, 122 S.E.2d 879.
Vehicle on right has right-of-way at intersections.

1960 Railway Express Agency v. Moore, 201 Va. 928, 114 S.E.2d 626.
On entering intersections, it is duty of plaintiff to look with reasonable care, not absolute duty to discover defendant’s vehicle unless it was in plain view. Defendant entered intersection from parking lot from right. Defendant did not have right-of-way.

1960 Thompson v. Mann, 201 Va. 528, 111 S.E.2d 792.
Automobile and motorcycle collide at intersection. Automobile was further into intersection than motorcycle at time of accident. Jury issue presented.

1959 Pannell v. Fauber, 201 Va. 380, 111 S.E.2d 445.
Driver on right has right-of-way provided they arrive at intersection at approximately same time and right-of-way not forfeited by excess speed. If they did not arrive at same time or if right-of-way forfeited, then neither has right-of-way but both must exercise ordinary care.

1959 Barnes v. Caluneo, 200 Va. 631, 107 S.E.2d 484.
Plaintiff’s uncontradicted evidence was that defendant’s bus struck plaintiff’s vehicle at 40 mph past middle of intersection. Jury issue as to negligence of defendant.

1957 Judge v. Burton, 198 Va. 664, 96 S.E.2d 120.
Jury question is presented as to negligence on part of defendant when he does not see vehicle approaching uncontrolled intersections until it is 35 feet away when his range of vision was 75 feet in that direction.

1956 Shelton v. Detamore, 198 Va. 220, 93 S.E.2d 314.
Where approach of vehicles to intersections is obscured by hedge, motorist is required to exercise reasonable care before entering intersection. Must yield to vehicle on right.

1956 Smith v. Carpenter, 198 Va. 91, 92 S.E.2d 275.
Question of contributory negligence on part of operator who entered uncontrolled intersection first was for jury.

1955 Vaughan v. Eatoon, 197 Va. 459, 89 S.E. 2114.
Plaintiff injured in intersection collision when she pulled in front of and was struck by defendant’s vehicle approaching from right. Contributory negligence of plaintiff not established as matter of law as her estimates of speed and proximity of defendant’s vehicle were to be weighed by jury.

1955 Perry v. Thompson, 196 Va. 817, 86 S.E.2d 35.
Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law for failing to see vehicle approaching from his right.

1952 Hebner v. Sullivan, 194 Va. 259, 72 S.E.2d 689.
When two vehicles enter or approach intersections at approximately same time, vehicle on left shall yield to vehicle on right. By the use of term “at approximately the same time” legislature intended that determination of question depended not on computation of time but on determination of fact by jury.

1950 Hoffman v. Stuart, 190 Va. 880, 59 S.E.2d 94.
Automobile to right has right-of-way. Fact that vehicle to right at uncontrolled intersections has right-of-way does not relieve that driver of duty to keep reasonable lookout and exercise ordinary care.

1947 Barnes v. Mabry, 186 Va. 243, 42 S.E.2d 304.
Intersections.It is natural to assume that one on main highway rapidly approaching crossing would take it for granted that another on secondary road who had stopped did so with intention of giving arterial traffic right-of-way.

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Intersections Cases Summarized By Car Accident Lawyer

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