Avoiding Accidents at Dangerous Intersections
Statistics indicate that some 60 percent of all accidents occur at intersections. Furthermore, red light running is thought to account for approximately 200,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2015. Thankfully, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists can all reduce their risk of a traffic accident at dangerous intersections. Learn more about crashes at intersections, including your right to pursue compensation if an injury or fatality happens to you or a loved one.
Intersection Safety for Drivers
Vehicle drivers tend to be the most dangerous at intersections, simply because they are larger and less vulnerable than other road users. As such, every driver should take personal responsibility for not just their own safety, but also the safety of others. To do this, adhere to the following safety practices whenever stopped or advancing through an intersection:
- Do not check or use your phone at intersections;
- If you are the first vehicle to stop at a red light, stop behind the crosswalk or solid line;
- If you are behind another vehicle at a red light, leave enough space that you can see their wheels (about a car length);
- Watch for vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) and attempt to make eye contact with them so they know you see them;
- Never change lanes in an intersection;
- Check all directions after the light turns green to reduce your risk of being hit by a red-light runner;
- Never attempt to beat a yellow light. Instead, prepare to stop if the light turns yellow;
- Look for and yield to emergency vehicles that need to pass through the intersection;
- If turning right on red, come to a complete stop and look for other road users entering the intersection before inching forward to look for gaps in traffic;
- Remember that right-of-way goes to the first vehicle at a 4-way stop, or the vehicle to the right if there is a tie; and
- If a traffic light is broken or malfunctioning, treat the intersection like a 4-way stop.
Intersection Safety for Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Of all the road users, pedestrians and bicyclists tend to be the most vulnerable. As such, both groups should exercise great care at intersections. Be sure to follow these safety rules:
- Never use your cell phone at an intersection;
- Use designated crosswalks, sidewalks, and lanes whenever they are available to you;
- Never assume that a driver sees you;
- Watch the movement of vehicle tires to ensure they are not planning to cross in front of you;
- Avoid crossing the street at non-intersections; and
- Plan your route carefully.
Intersection Safety for Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists often go unseen by other drivers, which can place them in grave danger while they are trying to pass through intersections. Because of this, motorcyclists are encouraged to exercise extreme caution. Use these tips, as well as any others you may have learned in your motorcycle safety course or driver’s handbook:
- Wear the proper gear to reduce your risk of serious injury;
- Never assume a driver sees you;
- Watch closely for red-light runners (waiting at least three seconds before passing through an intersection can decrease the odds of an accident with one);
- Watch for drivers making left turns in front of you;
- Watch the movement of a vehicle’s tires, not the vehicle itself; and
- Use the vehicles around you as cushioning.
Contact Our Appleton Traffic Accident Attorneys
You may be owed compensation if you or someone you love has been injured or killed at an intersection because of another driver’s negligence. Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can protect your rights and aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Schedule a personalized consultation with our seasoned Appleton traffic accident attorneys to get started with your claim. Call 920-739-7366 today.