Intersections are when two or more roads meet or intersect with each other. According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, “more than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections.” Despite the government’s best efforts to allow drivers to approach intersections safely through the implementation of stoplights, double white lines, crossing signals, and light poles; it is often through the negligent actions of drivers that road safety signs and procedures are not followed that intersection accidents occur.
This does not mean that all drivers involved in accidents, do not care about the safety and procedures of the roadways. However, they either knowingly or unknowingly make decisions that do not comply with the safety resources, procedures, or laws when driving which then conflicts with the rights and safety of others.
Some common intersection interactions are:
- Left-hand turn - when making a left-handed turn, the driver either needs a green light or will yield on a yellow light to the on-coming traffic. In Colorado, it is legal to make a left-hand turn when yielding to oncoming traffic when it is safe to do so. These accidents often occur due to misjudged timing and/or ignoring the yellow or red light.
- Right-hand turn - often on a red light, a vehicle will make a right turn into cross traffic. These accidents are often due to misjudging the timing.
- Continuing straight - these accidents occur when the driver fails to come to a complete stop at a red light. Often drivers will run the red, causing conflict with cross-traffic that has the legal right to the intersection.
The majority of intersection accidents are caused by:
- Making illegal turns – When there are signs informing drivers of no-turn on red, or no u-turns, it’s to prevent accidents and traffic build-up. When drivers disregard these signals, their actions can cause confusion and conflict on the roadway.
- Failure to Signal Turn or Merge – Signaling lane changes and turns, alerts other drivers to your intentions and can help avoid accidents.
- Running Red Lights or Stop Signs – Increasing speed to attempt to clear the intersection or rolling through a stop increases the risk of being involved in an accident with another vehicle.
- Distracted Driving – Texting, conversations, loud music, not watching the road and surroundings, and other activities of inattention may increase your chances of a car crash.
- Driving Under the Influence – Getting behind the wheel of the car when under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause an accident due to impaired decision-making, slower reaction time, and reckless behavior.
This list is not exclusive to all the possible causes of intersection accidents, but they are the most typical. Drivers can reduce this number by reducing distractions, slowing down, and paying more attention to their surroundings.
If you have been involved in a car crash, please contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP for a qualified attorney who can help you immediately.