Wherever two or more roads cross paths, there is elevated risk for motorists and anyone else on the street. Vehicles in close proximity to one another can easily collide, and those crossing through intersections can easily make small mistakes that result in a crash.
Even though motorists are typically required to slow down or stop when approaching intersections, some of the worst collisions occur at these locations. Speed is far from the only factor that can lead to serious wrecks. Two contributing factors play a role in the majority of intersection collisions reported annually.
Failing to observe one’s surroundings
When looking at the critical mistake made by a driver prior to a crash, there is one error responsible for more intersection collisions than any other error in traffic. Those who failed to adequately monitor their surroundings can easily make a mistake in traffic that results in an otherwise preventable motor vehicle coalition.
People who are familiar with a road may take for granted that they can safely proceed without double-checking, only to end up hurt in a wreck. Those unfamiliar with an intersection may not know about blind spots and other issues that could increase their risk. Distraction caused by texting, passengers or navigation systems in the vehicle may only increase the possibility of someone failing to properly monitor their surroundings.
Completing a left-hand turn
Unless the intersection has more than two roads crossing paths, drivers typically only have three options when they approach the intersection. Turning left is the most dangerous option and is responsible for almost 2:30 that occur at intersections. Research looking at the details of thousands of crashes indicates that 61% of intersection collisions involved at least one vehicle attempting to turn left.
Therefore, those who are planning to make a left-hand turn should recognize not only the risk inherent in their maneuver but how another motorist’s lack of awareness could lead to a crash. Being consistent about using a turn signal when turning left and taking the time to properly monitor an intersection before proceeding through it could significantly reduce someone’s chances of causing a crash.