Intersection car accidents often involve head-on collisions, resulting in serious and life-changing injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revealed that intersection accidents account for around 40 percent of all automobile accidents. The chances of a car accident in an intersection, a point where two roads converge, are obviously high.
What Makes Intersections So Dangerous?
The NHTSA found that in roughly 96% of the cases, accidents that have taken place in an intersection are directly caused by driver error. So it’s not so much an issue with how intersections are built but the level of care drivers give when driving through one.
Essentially, drivers must be extra cautious when entering an intersection to protect themselves and their passengers.
The administration found three common actions that lead to a collision in an intersection:
When a driver doesn’t use proper signals or doesn’t make sure that they have the right of way, they can increase the likelihood of causing an accident when performing these actions.
Main Causes of Intersection Accidents
Despite the efforts of traffic authorities to make intersections safer, drivers still make costly mistakes at intersections, causing serious accidents.
- Failure to look: Inadequate observation by the driver is responsible for 44 percent of intersection accidents. The driver may not watch for oncoming traffic or enter the intersection without a clear view of the traffic situation.
- Wrong assumptions: Intersection accidents may happen when drivers make the mistake of expecting other drivers to stop when the traffic light turns yellow.
- Illegal maneuvers: Whenever drivers are negligent in following traffic rules, intersection accidents may occur. More than 6 percent of intersection accidents can be attributed to this.
- Obstructed vision: Intersection accidents may occur because the view of a driver is obstructed, causing a driver to make a wrong decision.
- Miscalculation of speed or distance: Intersection accidents happen when drivers miscalculate the speed or distance of other vehicles.
- Distracted driving: Distractions include using a mobile phone, car stereo, GPS devices, or passengers in the vehicle.
Injuries Due To Intersection Accidents
Intersection accidents may involve head-on collisions, side-swipe collisions, or rear-end collisions. The effects of side-impact crashes are considered more dangerous compared to head-on collisions since the side of the vehicle does not offer as much protection as the hood, which can absorb some of the impact from the crash. Side-impact collisions often lead to serious injuries. Car accident victims may suffer the following injuries:
- traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- injury to the spinal cord, including quadriplegia or paraplegia
- neck injuries
- back injuries
- lung contusions and punctured lungs
- rib fractures
- diaphragm injuries
- pelvic injuries
- spleen injuries
- injuries to the pulmonary vessels
- injuries to the aorta
How to Drive Safely Through Intersections
Because so many intersection accidents are caused by human error, the best way to keep safe while driving through an intersection is to stay alert and proceed carefully.
Here are some tips to help you drive safely through intersections.
Slow Down as You Approach
Even if the light is green while you are approaching the intersection, you can’t know if the other drivers are also aware/paying attention to that fact. As such, it’s best to slow down and check the cross street for approaching vehicles before you proceed.
Keep Your Distance
If you have to stop behind a car at an intersection, try to keep at least 1-vehicle length between you and the other car. Though it may seem like a lot of space, it can give you some movement in case a vehicle from behind presses the brakes suddenly, and you need to move to avoid getting hit.
Using a smartphone or taking your eyes off the road is a bad idea in general, but you should be extra cautious at an intersection. It’s not just your actions that can lead to an accident, but other drivers’ too. On the other hand, if you are paying close attention to your surroundings, you can have sufficient time to react.
Watch for Pedestrians
If they see vehicles caught in traffic, some pedestrians might try to cross through the still cars. Keep that in mind, and whenever you need to proceed, double-check for any pedestrians in your line of driving.
St. Louis Intersection Accident Attorney
Since injuries suffered from such automobile accidents are often severe, the aim of a St. Louis car accident lawyer is to ensure that victims receive appropriate compensation for the losses they have suffered. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver who failed to look before entering the intersection, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a case evaluation.
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