When you get behind the wheel to drive somewhere, the chances are that you will drive through at least one intersection, especially if you are traveling through urban areas. While intersections can be crucial to managing larger amounts of traffic going in different directions, they can also be the scenes of some minor to severe car accidents, especially if or when:
- Vehicles may be traveling at faster speeds.
- Commercial trucks are involved in intersection accidents.
- These accidents involve pedestrians and/or head-on collisions with other vehicles.
According to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), intersection car accidents account for more than 36 percent of all traffic accidents that occur in the U.S. each year.
Given the prevalence of these types of accidents, in this three-part blog, we will take a closer look at some important facts people should know when it comes to intersection car accidents. If you have been hurt in one of these collisions, contact the Littleton car accident lawyers at Bahr and Kreidle for professional advice regarding your rights and case.
Intersection Car Accidents: Here’s What You Should Know…
Fact 1: Driver distraction is one of the most common causes of intersection car accidents.
Inattentive drivers frequently cause intersection car accidents. While this can be because drivers are texting while driving, are using GPS or are trying to otherwise multitask while driving, it may also be due to the fact that drivers are distracted by some object or event outside of their vehicle.
Regardless of the cause of the distraction, the fact remains that failing to pay attention to signals and the continually changing driving conditions at intersections can significantly increase the risk that drivers will cause intersection car accidents.
Fact 2: So too is drivers’ intentional violation of traffic laws.
In some cases, drivers may be paying attention to the driving conditions and changing signals at intersections and may still deliberately choose to violate traffic laws (because, for instance, they are late or they don’t think there are any other cars approaching the intersection). In fact, the NHTSA reports that drivers’ illegal maneuvers and violations of traffic laws at intersections cause nearly 7 percent of all intersection car accidents that occur each year in the U.S. (this works out to nearly 60,000 collisions annually).
Some of the most common examples of the illegal maneuvers and traffic violations that commonly cause these accidents include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Running red lights
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Making illegal U-turns or left turns
- Speeding through intersections
- Trying to change lanes in the middle of intersections
- Trying to make left or right turns from the wrong lane when in intersections.
Fact 3: Drivers’ judgment errors commonly cause intersection car accidents.
In some cases, drivers who may be trying to abide by the law and drive safely may simply misjudge other drivers’ actions or speeds and, consequently, cause intersection car accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that “false assumptions of other’s actions” accounts for about 8.4 percent of all intersection car accidents that occur each year. This equates to more than 63,500 intersection car accidents annually.
Some of the most common misjudgments that contribute to these accidents include:
- Misjudging how fast other drivers’ are traveling
- Misjudging the gap or distance between vehicles
- Misjudging other drivers’ intended action (such as whether or not other drivers intend to turn at an intersection).
NHTSA researchers have found that drivers who are younger than 24 and older than 65 tend to be the motorists who are most often be responsible for making the judgment errors that cause intersection car accidents.
Fact 4: Red light cameras can increase the risk of intersection car accidents.
This fact about intersection car accidents may be surprising to some people. However, researchers have found that, ironically, red light cameras can increase the risk of collisions – instead of improving the safety at intersections. Some of the reasons for this seemingly counterintuitive fact are that red light cameras:
- Can actually be a source of distraction to drivers
- Can cause some drivers to alter their driving behaviors, such as by slamming on the brakes at a yellow light instead of proceeding through the light as others may expect.
In fact, while some studies have found that the presence of red light cameras can increase the risk of intersection car accidents by up to 28 percent, others have pinpointed this increased risk to be as much as 70 percent.
Fact 5: Some crash avoidance technologies may help prevent intersection car accidents.
Crash avoidance technologies like, for instance, blind spot detection systems and lane departure warning systems may help drivers avoid getting into intersection car accidents. Such technologies typically work by:
- Sounding an alarm to warn drivers of a nearby object; and/or
- Adjusting the steering (or preventing steering) to try to avoid hitting objects in the vicinity of the car.
For example, if drivers are attempting to make right-hand turns at intersections, crash avoidance technologies can warn drivers if there is a pedestrian or cyclist in the vehicle’s blind spot.
Despite the potential life-saving benefits of crash avoidance systems, however, it’s still important that drivers are aware that how they respond to these systems’ warnings will ultimately be critical to whether or not they are able to avoid getting into intersection car accidents. In other words, these technologies cannot make up for drivers being intoxicated, inattentive, careless or reckless.
Fact 6: After intersection car accidents, injured people can trust Bahr & Kriedle to help them get the compensation they need and deserve.
The most critical piece of information that people should remember when it comes to intersection car accidents is that, after these collisions, the Littleton car accident attorneys at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker will be here to defend victims’ rights to compensation for their injuries and losses.
Our attorneys know how devastating the impacts of intersection car accidents – or any traffic accidents – can be, and victims can always trust us to help them build the strongest possible cases and obtain the highest possible settlements.
Contact the Littleton, Colorado Car Accident Lawyers at Bahr and Kreidle Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it’s time to contact the Littleton car accident lawyers at Bahr & Kriedle. We have been providing car accident victims with superior representation since 1983, and we are ready to fight for your rights to compensation and justice.
To set up a free, no obligations initial consultation with us, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the form on this page.
From our law offices in Littleton, we represent clients throughout Colorado, including in the Denver Metro Area, Arapahoe County, Adams County, Jefferson County and the cities of Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Castle Rock, Westminster, Centennial and Aurora.