Intersections are one of the most dangerous places that you can drive. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 50% of car crashes leading to either injuries or fatalities take place close to intersections or in the intersections themselves. This means that the majority of serious crashes happen in this one location.
What is it that makes intersections so dangerous? There are a few different things to consider.
Traffic crosses paths
To begin with, cars have to cross paths because traffic is moving in two different directions. This creates an inherent level of risk. If every driver operates their vehicle perfectly, intersections can be navigated safely. But if anyone makes a mistake, the odds of an accident go up dramatically.
This is also why smaller streets are often considered much more dangerous than the interstate, where traffic is all moving in the same direction and never has to cross paths.
Intersections can be confusing
One reason why drivers make mistakes at intersections is because they get confused. A driver may not know when it’s their turn at a four-way stop. They may not know how to use a roundabout if they’ve never used one before. The road design itself could make it difficult to see if other traffic is approaching.
There are significant speed differences
Finally, speed differences between vehicles often lead to accidents or at least increase accident risks. This happens at intersections because traffic often comes to a halt. A distracted driver may be able to keep their car between the lines while moving with the flow of traffic, for example, but they’ll cause a rear-end accident when the car ahead of them slows down for a red light.
Have you been injured in a car accident caused by another driver? Be sure you know how to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs.