Why intersection accidents occur and how to avoid them

A recent statistic released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suggests that four out of every 10 car crashes take place at intersections. Among fatal crashes, at least one in every five happens at intersections as well.

One of the reasons intersections are believed to be so dangerous for motorists is because they're essentially the crossroads where a variety of cars, pedestrians and bicycles, each moving at their own speed, intersect.

Accidents at intersections are also most apt to occur when motorist have been through the same one time after time. Drivers become less vigilant when their surroundings seem more familiar to them, making them more susceptible to becoming involved in a crash.

In an effort to reduce the risk of accidents at intersections, the FHWA has released certain tips for avoiding them. Among those, they note that, when a motorist approaches an intersection, he or she should do so cautiously, even if he or she has the right away. They recommend this because so many accidents occur because a motorist had a right light, yet neglected to yield to another motorist's right of way.

It's particularly important to act cautiously if there's either a poorly functioning traffic light or none at all. In a case such as this, all motorists should treat the intersection as a four-way stop. Checking and double checking before proceeding forward is always best at an intersection such as this.

Also, because rear end accidents happen so often at intersections, they recommend making sure that the person in front of you has is actually committed to a turn before following behind him or her.They also note that, in order to avoid side-swipes, another common type of intersection crash, all motorists should avoid changing lanes when proceeding through them. If they do, they risk someone else making a turn from a roadway running in the opposite direction and thus getting t-boned.

While you may take all the necessary precautions to avoid becoming involved in a car crash at an intersection, there's no guarantee that others put in the same effort. This is when crashes occur.

If you've been seriously hurt while biking, walking or driving through an intersection, then a Vista, California, car crash attorney can explain to you what your legal options are. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to recover lost wages, medical expenses and other costs related to your treatment.

Source: Tapco, "5 rules you must learn to avoid intersection accidents," Steve Paulus, accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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