Deadly Iowa Car Accident Highlights Dangers Of Failing To Yield

Officials with the Iowa State patrol say that a recent car accident in Afton, Iowa left two people dead and two others seriously injured. The wreck happened just after 5 p.m. last Thursday near the intersection of Highways 169 and 34. Police say that the accident occurred because of one driver's failure to yield at a stop sign.

According to authorities, the crash happened when a Chrysler Sebring driven by 19-year-old Sierra Peddycoart pulled away from a stop sign on Highway 169 directly into the path of an oncoming Chevy Tahoe. Witnesses say that Peddycoart was unable to see the Tahoe when she pulled away from the stop sign into the other vehicle's lane of traffic. The driver of the Tahoe, 30-year-old Beth Kulow, saw Peddycoart's vehicle but was unable to come to a stop before hitting the Sebring.

Police say that the force of the accident was intense and it resulted in the death of both Peddycoart and her passenger. Kulow and an infant passenger were both injured in the crash, but authorities say that the injuries were not life threatening.

So what is a failure to yield accident? A failure to yield accidents refers to those that occur when one driver fails to yield (or give) the road to an oncoming vehicle. This other vehicle is said to have the "right of way" which means the driver has the legal right to be on that stretch of road at that time and other drivers must wait for the driver to pass by before continuing on. Some common examples of failure to yield accidents in Iowa include those, like this one, that happen when a driver fails to remain stopped at a stop sign until the driver with the right of way has cleared the intersection. Accidents involving failure to yield also happen when drivers make left turns into traffic without yielding to oncoming vehicles.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, accidents caused by one driver's failure to yield are quite common. Of these failure to yield accidents, stop signs are often where the collisions take place, with DOT figures calculating that accidents are 2.6 times more likely to happen at stop signs than at traffic signals. Another instance where failure to yield accidents are especially likely to occur is when one driver must make a left hand turn.

Failure to yield accidents are frequently deadly and represent a leading cause of automotive death. This is because they often involve one fast moving vehicle colliding with another much slower moving vehicle, exerting tremendous force on the occupants of both vehicles. Statistics indicate that every year there are between 800 to 1,000 fatal multi-vehicle failure to yield crashes across the country.

Source: "Two killed, two injured in southern Iowa crash," by Regina Zilbermints, published at