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Top Causes for Crashes in Intersections

“Crashes often occur at intersections because these are the locations where two or more roads cross each other and activities such as turning left, crossing over, and turning right have the potential for conflicts resulting in crashes” -Distraction.org

This is why almost every time I enter an intersection traveling straight across, I try to look to the left and right to the traffic that is supposed to “stopped”. You never know when a distracted driver could “blow through”  a red light or stop sign.  Intersections are one area where all drivers should institute a defensive driving technique.

Statistics estimate that 36% of all crashes occur at intersections. The top reasons for these types of crashes are:

1. Inadequate surveillance (inattention) (44.1%) Not looking to see if the intersection is clear is the number one cause of intersection crashes.

2. False assumption of other’s action (8.4%) Other drivers can be unpredictable. It’s best not to assume what they are going to do!

3. Turned with obstructed view (7.8%) Turning or crossing without the ability to clearly see what is going on is very dangerous and usually happens when drivers are in a rush. 

4. Illegal maneuver (6.8%) There is usually a very good reason why the maneuver is illegal, therefore if one attempts if anyway, a crash is very likely.

5. Internal distraction (5.7%)  Drivers are prone to picking up smartphones, fussing with GPS devices, and opening food or beverages at intersections.  After all, there are a few seconds between lights that people want to take full advantage of.  Unfortunately, that momentary distraction can lead to devastating outcomes.

6. Misjudgment of gap or other’s speed (5.5%). Thinking you have enough to make it through the intersection, before the other cars cross, can lead to a collision.

Bottom line: Being in a rush to get somewhere can cause drivers to make bad decisions to try and save a few seconds. If you are in a crash however, prepared to be delayed much longer.

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