Intersections are where accidents are most likely to happen, says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne, and most of them are caused by driver error.
You may fear an accident on the highway because of the speed and possible harm that could happen but statistically you’re most likely to get in an accident at an intersection, whether that’s around the block from your home or across the country while you’re on vacation. If you’re going through an intersection you should be especially alert says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.
There were an estimated 2,307,000 vehicle accidents at intersections across the country in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They accounted for about 40% of the 5,811,000 crashes that occurred in the United States that year. An estimated 7,421 fatalities occurred at these accidents and in 733,000 crashes one or more vehicle occupants suffered injuries.
There are many potential dangers when two roads join together where pedestrians may try to cross. Actions by other drivers are the dangers you need to be most concerned about. NHTSA looked at intersection accident causes, what they called “critical reasons.” Of the 787,236 accidents in or near intersections in 2008, about 96% had critical reasons attributed to drivers, while vehicle or environment related critical reasons were to blame for less than 3% of accidents.
When a critical reason was a driver error,
- About 41% of the critical reasons were recognition errors (due to not paying attention, internal and external distractions or not seeing something)
- About 34% of the accident causes were decision errors by the driver (driving aggressively or too fast), and
- 10% were performance errors (overcompensation, improper control).
One of those errors can be deciding to run a red light or driving too fast to stop in time to avoid going through the intersection on a red light. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) states that in 2014,
- There were a total of 32,675 traffic accident related fatalities with 8,661 of them happening at intersections. An estimated 2,675 of those intersections had traffic lights.
- There were 710 fatalities caused by a vehicle going through a red light at these intersections, 44 of them were pedestrians or bicyclists.
The FHA suggests that when you approach an intersection you,
- Reduce speed,
- Put your right foot over the brake to improve reaction time,
- Look across and around the intersection ahead of you so can become aware of the surroundings,
- Know where you want to go and which lane to use,
- Look left, right and left again to check for oncoming traffic before crossing an intersection,
- Use turn signals to show others where you’re going, and
- Leave enough room in front of you so you won’t block the intersection if traffic stops.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident at or near an intersection, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 293-2600 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.