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How West Virginia Drivers Can Prevent Intersection Accidents

Intersections are dangerous locations for drivers, with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting 40 percent of total annual motor vehicle crashes occur at intersections. sign-3-1311912

Intersection accidents controlled by traffic signals are the most dangerous, as they are the site of 52.2 percent of intersection accidents. An additional 31.3 percent of intersection accidents happen at intersections controlled by stop signs, while 15.9 percent happen at intersections without a traffic control device.

Drivers should be safe and make smart choices so they can reduce the risk of intersection accidents. This is especially important due to the high rate of side impact or T-bone accidents at intersections, which tend to be deadly crashers and more serious collisions than other kinds of car accidents.

How Can Drivers Reduce Risks Of Accidents at Intersections?

Drivers can reduce the risk of accidents at intersections by understanding the biggest reasons why intersection accidents happen and being more careful to avoid high-risk behaviors.  Almost all intersection accidents are caused by drivers, with 96 percent of collisions at intersections attributed to critical errors by drivers.

The most common error at intersections which led to accidents was inadequate surveillance, which caused 44.1 percent of intersection collisions. Drivers can reduce the risk of accidents caused by inadequate surveillance by taking the time to look around carefully at what other cars are doing. Never assume the behavior of other motorists- always check. Drivers should also be sure to not just stare at a red light and go automatically when it turns green, as there could be motorists still in the intersection.

The second most common reason for intersection crashes is drivers making false assumptions about what other people at the intersection are going to do. Drivers are not always predictable. Another motorist could run a stop sign or a red light. While the crash would not be your fault under these circumstances, you and the other motorist are much better off if you can prevent it by driving defensively, noticing the other driver's error, and stopping to prevent the crash from occurring.

The third most common reason for intersection accidents are drivers who turn even though their view is obstructed. Turning without a clear view is the cause of 7.8 percent of intersection accidents. In situations where drivers cannot see, they should inch forward slowly and cautiously until they can make sure their path is clear.

Illegal maneuvers are the fourth most common cause of intersection accidents, and internal distraction is the fifth most common reason why intersection crashes happen. However, for younger drivers under 24, distraction is a much more likely cause of distracted-driving intersection accidents compared with motorists who are older. Drivers should be sure they obey the rules, don't turn or do anything else they aren't supposed to, and pay careful attention to the road at all times.

Finally, the sixth most common cause of intersection collisions is drivers misjudging gaps between vehicles. Drivers who turn into a gap that is too small for them to clear the road are the cause of 5.5 percent of intersection crashes. Waiting until you are sure you have enough time to fully clear the intersection can help you to avoid causing accidents due to misjudging the gap.

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