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The dangers caused by the dreaded rolling stop

The rolling stop or also referred to as the “California roll” continues to be a frequent occurrence among drivers at intersections. What is it? A California roll occurs when drivers slow down but fail to come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic lights and then barrel through the intersection.

Obviously, many of these drivers are in a hurry and may view the stop sign as more of a suggestion rather than a command. They contend that they are not causing any harm. However, too many of these scofflaw drivers seem to overlook the dangers of this action.

Risky for pedestrians, bicyclists, other drivers

The bottom line is that the rolling stop is unsafe. It represents a risky move that endangers drivers, their passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Drivers who resort to this maneuver do not seem to comprehend that the dangers outweigh the few seconds that they save during their commute.

Here are three risks that surface when a driver does a rolling stop:

  • The threat of a motor vehicle collision: The drivers who have the right of way unexpectedly must contend with another driver who accelerates into the intersection after making a rolling stop. They may be unable to avoid a collision.
  • Striking a vehicle from the rear: A couple of scenarios come to mind. The California roll driver may misjudge the distance between his or her car and the one in front of it. Also, a distracted driver remains unaware that he or she is rolling into the car just ahead.
  • Crashing into pedestrians, scooters, motorcyclists and bicyclists: Too often we learn about pedestrians being struck while in the crosswalk. This may happen when a car rolls through a stop sign or traffic light. Other times, some drivers believe their car gives them roadway entitlement, insisting that pedestrians, bicyclists and motorbike drivers make way for them.

Vigilance is crucial when encountering drivers who fail to come to complete stops at intersections.

Potentially dangerous consequences

Drivers who subscribe to rolling stops may consider this a minor traffic infraction. However, they fail to see or acknowledge the dangerous consequences that just may happen. Stop signs are not yield signs.

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