Avoiding Collisions and Injuries at Intersections

Traffic intersections are motor vehicle collision hotspots. The confluence of pedestrians, changing traffic lights and vehicles going every which way, produces a recipe for potential disaster. As it happens, many drivers get into accidents simply because they fail to pay attention to oncoming traffic. Needless to say, accidents that happen in these areas can often lead to serious injuries.

So how can we avoid the dangers of the road – specifically the dangers of intersections? The following will outline some of these dangers and ways of staying safe.

Pedestrian Accidents at Intersections

Pedestrians tend to collect in or near the cross walks when at an intersection. There is often a signal indicating that pedestrians may cross. Obviously, when the signal is engaged, pedestrians are likely to be in the cross walk.  Drivers, on the other hand, must be aware of people on the street, particularly while pedestrians are crossing.

But drivers are not always attentive. It’s in these circumstances that the person behind the wheel is more likely to overlook the presence of pedestrians in the cross walk and to strike the people in the street. When such accidents take place the most common injuries are:

Each of these is very serious and can change the course of someone’s life. Moreover, insurance companies have incentive to put the blame on the pedestrian, causing further harm to that person. They may argue that the pedestrian was not in the crosswalk at the time of the accident, or they might claim that the person was crossing at the wrong time. If their argument is successful, the injured party may still receive compensation (according to some state laws). However, the amount received will be less than if the blame was placed squarely on the shoulders of the driver.

Avoiding the Intersection Accidents Altogether

In general, accidents at intersections tend to be rear-end collisions. This type of collision happens mostly because of distracted driving. People can be distracted for any number of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Listening to loud music
  • Physically engaging with someone in the car
  • Rubber necking
  • Talking on phone
  • Texting

When someone indulges in these dangerous behaviors they put others at risk. In fact, it is common for the passengers of the struck vehicle to be injured in any number of ways, including:

  • Whiplash
  • Seat belt rash
  • Head injuries – after hitting head on wheel
  • Chest and shoulder injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Knee injuries – after hitting knees on dashboard

In the worst-case scenario, multiple cars could be affected by such a collision, resulting in even more injuries.

So how do you avoid such accidents? Well, the answer may sound obvious but it bears repeating: stay focused. That is, it’s best not to allow distractions to pull your eyes from the road. It only takes a couple seconds for an accident to occur, so put the phone in the glove compartment, ask your friends to stop rough housing and turn down the music.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 35,092 people died in car accidents in 2015. For now, the data can’t tell us for certain whether a majority of these deaths are associated with distracted driving. But it’s better safe than sorry. So next time you’re out on the road, remember the risks and drive safe.