Intersecting roadways are inevitable as roads taking people, motor vehicles, and bicycles cross over each other as they continue on their path. But where these roads intersect, conflict points are created, which increases the chances of a dangerous motor vehicle intersection accident. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, about one–quarter of traffic fatalities and half of all traffic injuries in the United States happen in intersections each year. So, why are intersection accidents so dangerous?
Why is an Intersection Accident So Dangerous?
Intersection accidents are often considered particularly dangerous due to several factors that increase the risk and severity of collisions in these locations. Here are some reasons why intersection accidents can be so dangerous:
Intersections are points where multiple roadways converge, bringing together vehicles traveling in different directions. This increases the likelihood of collisions, as vehicles from various directions must navigate through the same space.
Vehicles at intersections often have to cross paths with vehicles coming from other directions. This increases the risk of T-bone or broadside collisions, where the sides of vehicles are directly impacted. These types of collisions can lead to severe injuries, especially if the impact is on the driver or passenger side.
Vehicles approaching an intersection might be traveling at different speeds. A car slowing down or stopping at an intersection might be rear-ended by a vehicle coming from behind at a higher speed, leading to a rear-end collision with potential for injury.
Intersections require drivers to make complex decisions and observations, such as checking for oncoming traffic, pedestrians, and traffic signals. Distracted driving, such as texting or looking at a GPS device, can significantly increase the likelihood of accidents at intersections.
Failure to yield causes intersection accident
Many intersection accidents occur when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way to another. This can happen when drivers run red lights, fail to stop at stop signs, or disregard other traffic control devices. These failures to yield can lead to high-speed collisions.
Limited visibility in intersection accident
Certain intersections have poor visibility due to factors like buildings, trees, or other obstructions. Limited visibility makes it challenging for drivers to see approaching vehicles, pedestrians, or other hazards, increasing the risk of accidents.
Pedestrian and cyclist vulnerability
Intersections are also places where pedestrians and cyclists cross roads. When a collision involves a vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist, the vulnerable road user is at a high risk of severe injury or even death due to the size and speed of the vehicle.
Angle of impact
Many intersection collisions occur at oblique angles, which can result in more direct impacts to the sides of vehicles. These angles often lead to more severe injuries than head-on or rear-end collisions.
Complex traffic patterns cause intersection accident
Intersections can have complex traffic patterns with multiple lanes, turning lanes, and merge points. Negotiating these patterns requires careful attention and coordination from all drivers. Any mistakes can result in accidents.
High traffic volume
Intersections are typically areas with high traffic volumes, increasing the chance of accidents due to the sheer number of vehicles converging in the same space.
Due to these factors, intersection accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries, significant vehicle damage, and even fatalities. Staying attentive, obeying traffic laws, and proceeding cautiously when approaching and crossing intersections are essential for reducing the risk of these dangerous collisions.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!