Intersections are among the most perilous places for drivers. Unfortunately, a significant source of danger comes from other drivers.
Understanding the common risks associated with fellow motorists at intersections is important for safe driving.
Red lights control the flow of traffic at intersections. Running a red light means entering an intersection when cross traffic has the right of way, increasing the likelihood of T-bone or broadside collisions.
These types of crashes can be extremely severe and result in serious injuries or fatalities. For example, in 2021, 1,109 people in the United States died in crashes relating to red light running. These types of crashes injured about 127,000 people in the same year.
Distracted driving is a widespread problem, and it becomes even more hazardous at intersections. Drivers using their phones, adjusting the radio or engaging in other distractions can easily miss traffic signals and signs.
Excessively speeding at intersections is a recipe for disaster. High speeds diminish a driver’s ability to maintain control over their vehicle. As speed increases, the vehicle becomes less stable, and the likelihood of skidding or losing control in a sharp turn or during evasive maneuvers rises significantly.
Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving between lanes and road rage, are dangerous everywhere, but they can be especially risky at intersections. Aggressive drivers may ignore traffic signals or engage in risky maneuvers.
Drivers need to communicate properly. At intersections, the absence of turn signals can lead to confusion about whether a driver intends to turn or go straight. This confusion can result in dangerous right-of-way disputes and collisions.
For instance, when a driver at an intersection suddenly slows down or makes a turn without signaling, it can lead to rear-end collisions. The driver behind may not have enough time to react to the unexpected maneuver, resulting in a crash.
Intersections pose various risks for drivers. Stay vigilant, drive responsibly and reduce the common dangers posed by other drivers at these critical junctions.