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How to Avoid Accidents at a Hazardous Intersection

How to Avoid Accidents at a Hazardous Intersection

How do you protect yourself from an accident at a hazardous intersection? What types of accidents are most common in these dangerous locations? Staying alert and slowing down go a long way toward protecting drivers from danger at an intersection. When accidents do occur, they typically involve driver error and distraction.

In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) examined the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey conducted in 2008. The data collected showed that approximately 40%, or 2.3 million of the 5.81 million traffic accidents in 2008 occurred at intersections. Of these, 22% involved vehicles that were making a left turn, 12.6% involved vehicles traveling through the intersection, and 1.2% involved vehicles making right turns. Intersection accidents are inherently hazardous. In 2008, 7,421 fatal accidents and 733,000 injury causing accidents occurred at intersections.

52.5% of intersection accidents occurred at intersections controlled by a traffic signal. 31.3% happened at intersections regulated by stop signs. 15.9% took place at intersections where no traffic light or stop sign was present.

Driver errors were the most common cause of hazardous intersection accidents. Improper surveillance of the intersection was cited as a critical factor in 44.1% of accidents. Falsely assuming the actions of another driver or pedestrian was cited in 8.4% of accidents. Illegal maneuver was cited in 6.8% of accidents. Internal distraction caused 5.7% of accidents. Misjudging another vehicle's speed or the gap between vehicles was cited in 5.5% of crashes. In 7.8% of crashes, obstructed views were the critical reason that caused an intersection accident.

Younger drivers, those under the age of 24, are more prone to intersection accidents caused by internal distractions or by false assumption of another driver's intentions. Conversely, drivers aged 25-54 are more likely to initiate an illegal maneuver, suffer from inattention, or drive too fast for conditions prior to causing an intersection accident. Of all accidents, 55.7% occur because of recognition errors while 29.2% occur because of decision errors.

Weather is rarely a factor in intersection accidents. 78.6% of accidents occurred in clear weather, while 16% happened on cloudy days, 6.2% happened in rain, and 1.2% occurred when fog, smog, or smoke were present.

The most common types of accidents at intersections are head-on collisions, rear-end accidents, and side-impact collisions. Drivers can reduce their risk of these serious injury causing accidents at hazardous intersections by slowing down, avoiding distractions, and properly surveilling the vicinity before entering into an intersection. Moreover, drivers should never attempt to enter an intersection on yellow, or initiate a turn when there is insufficient time and space to safely complete the maneuver.

Call in the Bull when you have a car accident at a hazardous intersection in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, or Texas. You can call us at 1-800-241-BRAD, or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to speak with an attorney. You can reach Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL.