Lights at an intersection are there to instruct drivers and other road users when they must wait and advise them when they should be able to proceed.
If you see one is not working, you need to take additional care, as you and the other road users will all be unsure what to do. Yet, even when the lights are all in order, relying on them too much could lead to a crash.
Lights cannot make drivers obey them
Green lights give permission rather than orders. When the light turns green, it means you can proceed if safe to do so. It does not guarantee it is.
- Drivers ignore lights all the time: If someone tries to squeeze past a light changing to red or ignores a red light altogether, they could crash into you, especially if you take your green light for granted.
- Pedestrians can also ignore a light: They may run across when they know they should wait.
- People can get stuck in the middle of the intersection after a light has changed: For instance, a child crossing falls off their bike, a wheel falls off a wheelchair someone is pushing, or a car breaks down in the middle of the intersection.
If a driver hit you at an intersection when their light was green, it does not necessarily make the collision your fault. As long as you did not jump the light, you could argue you had no choice over being there at that moment and that they should have looked before proceeding. Getting legal help to show they were to blame for the crash can help you get the compensation you need.