The news media tends to give the public a false perception that the largest number of motor vehicle accidents happen on highways and interstates. While many crashes do occur on those roadways, they do not make up the largest percentage of accidents. Instead, statistics show that around half of all crashes happen at intersections.
It’s easy to see why, since traffic is traveling in four directions, people are trying to beat yellow lights, and some people fail to pay adequate attention and keep moving even when they need to stop. This makes you particularly vulnerable at intersections. Understanding the reasons behind many of these accidents and steps you can take to avoid them could help keep you safe.
What mistakes do drivers commonly make?
Below are the most common errors drivers make at intersections:
- Turning without a proper field of vision
- Misjudging another driver’s speed
- Making false assumptions about another driver’s actions
- Failing to adequately survey the surroundings
- Driving distracted
- Making an illegal maneuver, such as an illegal turn
Knowing the biggest dangers intersections pose to you could help you avoid a collision in which you could suffer serious injuries.
Avoiding intersection accidents
Staying safe as you travel through intersections could be as simple as the following:
- Leave yourself some space and a way out if something goes wrong
- Lower your speed
- Scan the intersection to make sure it’s clear of cross-traffic or turning vehicles
- Avoid taking a green light for granted
- Make sure other vehicles can see you
- Telegraph your intention to turn by using your turn signals
- Maintain a steady speed
You should also make sure you are prepared to stop suddenly. You have to worry about more than just other motor vehicles at intersections. Pedestrians and bicycle riders could appear in front of you without warning. In addition, just because you legally have the right-of-way at an intersection does not mean that you don’t have to watch out for someone who isn’t paying attention to your right to be there.
The drivers who fail to follow the rules of the road and do what they can to avoid an intersection accident post a significant risk to you and others. If doing everything right doesn’t keep you from encountering one of these motorists and you end up injured, you may have legal recourse. Filing a personal injury claim could result in you receiving the compensation you need and deserve.