In many places, intersection collisions are among the most frequent types of car accidents. This is because traffic typically flows in multiple directions at these junctions. In addition, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists are also crossing, thus increasing the risk of collisions. Moreover, some areas have no traffic lights or control systems, which significantly increases the chances of accidents.
Several factors contribute to intersection crashes. These include speeding, reckless driving, or poor visibility. Incidentally, many accidents happen at intersections because of bad decision-making by road users.
Various types of crashes can occur at an intersection. It can be a rear-end, side-swipe, head-on collision, etc. Intersection accidents can cause property damage, severe injuries, or fatalities, regardless of type. If you or a loved one have been involved in an intersection collision that caused any of the above, Florida car accident attorneys can help you get just compensation for your losses and damages.
It’s worth noting that intersection collisions can be prevented. Below are four tips to help you avoid them:
1. Don’t Tailgate
Tailgating means driving behind another car too closely. In this case, if the driver ahead of you stops suddenly, you’ll have little or no time to slow down, and there’ll be no room for the other drivers to stop. Thus, the probability of a collision is higher.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid tailgating while at an intersection. Instead, maintain a safe distance between you and the driver in front of you. This should be the case even at a congested intersection. Ensure that you and the other motorist have ample room to stop unexpectedly. This way, you’ll also have sufficient space to maneuver in a collision.
2. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving means engaging in any activity that takes your eyes off the road. It can be using your smartphone, checking your child’s seat belt, eating, drinking, grooming, or looking for something in your bag.
Typically, distracted driving contributes to a large percentage of accidents. At intersections, the risk is even higher. Parents, ride-share drivers, independent contractors, online workers, on-call staff members, and temporary employees are believed to be the most distracted vehicle operators. This is because they’re either checking on their kids, talking on their phones with clients or customers, programming the navigation system, or doing other activities.
Therefore, if you’re in the above group or not, you must have full attention on the road, especially at intersections. If you must do something that’ll take your attention from driving, ensure you’re away from the intersection and have stopped on the side of the road.
With undivided attention on the road, avoiding errors that could easily result in a collision is possible. In addition, you’ll be able to react swiftly to the mistake of a fellow motorist, pedestrian, or cyclist, thus reducing the likelihood of an accident.
3. Be Careful With Traffic Lights
At intersections, you must pay close attention to the traffic signals. For instance, if you’re making a legal turn at a red light, check if the vehicle in front of you has completely cleared the intersection. It’s vital to note that failing to check the car in front of you can increase the likelihood of a rear-end collision.
Occasionally, you may approach a green light only to have it turn yellow instantly. Even if you are driving under the allowed speed limit, you will be unsure of whether to continue or stop immediately. In such a situation, it is recommended not to proceed with the yellow light.
Since timing differs with yellow lights, some will be shorter or longer than a few seconds. Therefore, the light may turn red sooner than you anticipate. If this occurs, vehicles in the opposing lane will move before you have cleared the intersection. In this case, a car crash involving multiple vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians will likely occur.
4. Stay In One Lane
It’s also ideal to stay in one lane while at an intersection. This is crucial because, if you fail to do so, another car from a side street may turn into the same lane. This situation is likely to result in a side-impact collision. There are likely to be intersections with solid lines, especially those with two or more lanes. These indicate where unsafe lane changes may occur.
Car accidents are common at intersections. Keep in mind that aside from cars, there are bikes and pedestrians to watch out for at these crossroads. If a driver isn’t cautious, the chances of causing or being involved in an accident are usually high. On top of that, several highways lack essential regulation infrastructure like traffic lights, which is a significant cause of frequent intersection collisions.
Although accidents at intersections are prevalent, they are usually avoidable. You can avoid them by not tailgating, avoiding distractions, being careful with traffic lights, and staying in one lane. So, when approaching an intersection, remember the safety measures mentioned above to ensure the safety of everyone in the vehicle and other drivers and pedestrians.