Collisions can occur anywhere for reasons ranging from an errant squirrel to a faulty component in a vehicle. You simply can’t predict every fluke and freak accident that might cause a crash. Still, you can look at the overall trends involved in collisions so that you reduce your risk in different situations.
Intersections on surface streets are some of the most dangerous places on the road. A significant number of crashes take place at crossroads. Understanding what causes the majority of these crashes could help you avoid getting into one yourself.
Intersections demand careful attention and analysis
Many people look at driving as a boring chore rather than a dangerous, potentially deadly activity. Quite a few drivers have their attention focused on almost anything else other than the road around them. Especially on streets close to their homes, they may operate on autopilot or drive with very little caution or attention to their surroundings.
Unfortunately, distraction and failing to look around are no doubt contributors to many intersection collisions. According to a comprehensive analysis of crash data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, failing to properly check one’s surroundings is the leading cause of collisions that occur at intersections.
Inadequate surveillance was responsible for 44.1% of intersection wrecks, while making the wrong assumption about another driver’s actions caused an additional 8.4%. Someone turning with an obstructed view played a role in another 7.8% of crashes. Illegal maneuvers, internal distraction and poorly judging speed or driving gaps are the remaining listed causes for intersection crashes.
What do these statistics mean for you?
When you understand that not monitoring the intersection is the leading cause of intersection crashes, you can better protect yourself. Make a point of always using your turn signals, even if you are only two blocks from home and make that turn 10 times a day. You may also want to visually acknowledge the other drivers before moving into the intersection.
Taking just an extra half-second to double-check the other lanes of traffic before proceeding through an intersection can drastically reduce your likelihood of causing a crack or getting hit by someone who didn’t have the same degree of caution. Learning about what causes many car crashes can help you stay safer out on the road.