Do warning signs constitute sufficient notice of dangerous conditions for drivers?
We all see warning signs on the road every day, but do not always pay attention to what they mean. In fact, some ignore them completely —- until there is a nasty accident.
Consider the case of four teens who slammed into a tree because they did not pay attention to a warning sign about a treacherous road. It was one of those wrecks that neighbors in the area clearly heard. The sound of the impact reverberated through the night. By the time first responders and police made it to the scene, one teen was dead and three others were seriously injured. People in the immediate area were certain the driver missed the posted warning sign that there was no exit for the road they were on. It was a dead end —- straight into a copse of trees.
According to the safety agency that looks after signage for various roads within their purview, the warning sign that indicated the road was a dead end was new and highly reflective. However, they would consider adding another sign that indicated how much further someone could drive on the road before it ran out. Whether or not the addition of another sign will reduce the number of accidents is questionable, as the real issue is not so much the signs, but the ability of a driver to see and react to those signs.
Another question worth asking at a wrongful death trial would be whether or not the existing signage was sufficient to act as a warning, and whether or not it was obstructed by trees or other foliage, particularly if the weather was bad or it was late at night. This is certainly an approach a good injury attorney would use to obtain compensation for the deceased, or funds for those with injuries facing medical bills as they heal.
While a case such as this one may end up with fault being apportioned, particularly if the driver were texting or drinking, or under the influence of a drug, it still might result in some form of compensation for the family of the deceased teen and other three injured occupants of the wrecked vehicle.