The Dangers of an Intersection Accident
Crossroads are dangerous and the site of many intersection accidents and fatalities. Driver error is the primary reason for most intersection accidents but not all. With roughly 50 percent of severe accidents happening in an intersection, drivers need to know more about this type of accident, the reasons why they happen and how to avoid an intersection collision, armed with such knowledge, dangerous crossroads might become safer.
Why Are Intersections So Dangerous?
Intersections allow for the smooth transfer of traffic as cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists converge simultaneously. The complexity of this sets the stage for multiple accidents, injuries and fatalities. It is an area where drivers and walkers alike must put their trust in others. The problem is that not everyone is trustworthy.
Human Error in Intersections
One of the most prominent types of human error commonly seen in intersections is red-light running. In this country, there are on average 168,000 intersection accidents caused by people running a red light. Of this number, roughly 800 deaths occur.
Dangers in an intersection include:
- Reckless behavior and lack of concern for others in the intersection cause a good number of intersection accidents.
- Running a red light or stop sign often causes a T-bone collision with someone legally passing through.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists are also at risk if they are in the crosswalk. Increased lighting, lights that alert drivers to stop and adjusted signal timing that gives pedestrians enough time to cross are all ways to make crosswalks safe.
- Speeding is a significant reason a driver runs a red light. If the vehicle is moving at high speed, the chance that the driver can stop in time is poor. In this case, one traffic violation leads to another.
- Distracted driving is another reason for intersection accidents. Distracted driving is a primary reason for many accidents, primarily in urban areas and chiefly at intertersections. The distracted driver does not notice that traffic has slowed, and the light has turned red.
- Drunk drivers are unable to make sound judgments and control their vehicle. This prevents them from obeying the rules that make an intersection safe.
- Some drivers are in a hurry and think their time is more important than obeying traffic rules. This mindset accounts for numerous red-light accidents.
Poor Intersection Design and Maintenance
Another problem with intersections is their design. Some intersections are designed poorly. For instance, a lack of signage alerting drivers to an upcoming intersection leads to many intersection accidents, especially when the driver is not familiar with the area.
Another reason for intersection accidents is poor maintenance and planning. For example, an intersection that is not well designed has poor illumination and inadequate lane marking sets the stage for crashes. Overgrown shrubbery or non-functioning traffic lights can add to the risk.
Both poor design and lack of maintenance are reasons that an injured party can find a claim against the city. The time to file this type of claim differs substantially from that of other personal injury lawsuits. Your car accident lawyer will ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner.
How to Avoid an Intersection Accident
Aside from running a red light, accidents in intersections can also be caused by drivers making left and right-hand turns. When making a left-hand turn, it is important to stop and check for oncoming vehicles since lack of caution can lead to a broadside or T-bone accident. Be careful, since cars or motorcycles may appear to be going slower than they really are. Broadside accidents are particularly dangerous since the side of a vehicle does not have the safety devices that the rear and front of the vehicle do. This leaves you open to catastrophic injury.
Turning right is a problem since, in many areas, a bicyclist may be coming up alongside your vehicle. Checking your side mirrors as well as physically looking before turning can avert this type of crash.
Morris Law Firm
If you have been injured in an intersection accident due to a negligent party, call the law firm of Jeff Morris in the Myrtle Beach area and in Aiken to schedule a free case review. Our firm helps residents obtain the compensation they deserve. You can reach out to us at (843) 232-0944 or contact us online.