The June 2017 deaths of a 73-year-old man and his young grandson in Deland, Florida reminds us of the seriousness of approaching intersections while driving. In this tragic case, a high-speed collision resulted in an explosion and multiple deaths and injuries. Contemplate the causes of intersection crashes in America:
- Driver negligence;
- Driver recklessness;
- Running red lights, stop signs, and ignoring yield signs;
- Inadequate distance vision when making turns;
- Driver inattentiveness due to cell phones and other distractions;
- High speeds while approaching intersections with yellow lights;
- Crashing into the sides of trailers that lack adequate reflectors or lights;
- Pedestrian collisions;
- Poor visibility due to weather conditions;
- Complex layout of intersections;
- Poor road conditions;
- Faulty traffic signals.
Why are Intersection Crashes so Dangerous?
The truth is, many of these collisions are preventable. Unbelievably, roughly four in ten collisions in this country occur in intersections., making intersection accidents the second largest category of traffic accidents, following only rear-end collisions. When drivers put safety and common sense behind their rush to get places, everyone’s welfare is at risk. In intersections, it can be particularly hazardous for a number of reasons, which is why intersections claim half of all serious collisions in this country, and one-fifth of all fatal collisions. What makes intersections so perilous?
- Side impact, or T-bone collisions, are more likely, which result in higher injury and death rates due to lacking structural safeguards on the sides of vehicles;
- Oftentimes broadside collisions cause vehicles to be bumped out of their lanes and into other vehicles, guardrails, or poles.
- High speeds may result in enough force to cause the broadsided vehicle to roll over completely;
- Pedestrians frequent intersections and are at higher risk of injury.
Avoiding Intersection Collisions
It is the responsibility of every driver to approach and proceed through intersections with extreme care. Simple things you can do include:
- Drive defensively, and anticipate the recklessness of others;
- Be patient;
- Avoid distractions;
- Do not speed when approaching intersections;
- Check for emergency vehicles before proceeding;
- Pay attention to blinking lights or yellow lights;
- Drive appropriately for weather conditions;
- Yield to pedestrians, even if the light gives you the right of way;
- Ease forward when the light turns from red to green instead of jetting out;
- Use signals appropriately;
- Avoid entering the intersection if it is backed up: you don’t want to be stuck there if the light changes and you cannot move forward.
If You’re the Victim of an Intersection Collision
If someone else’s poor decisions behind the wheel have resulted in personal injury to you or a loved one, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton can help. Contact our offices in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation.