Intersections can make motorists feel confused and stressed. With many signs, signals and markings to acknowledge, drivers may make mistakes that they wouldn’t elsewhere on the road. Around 40% of motor vehicle accidents occur at intersections. Most of these collisions stem from several common causes.
Accidents caused by recognition errors
Motorists must acknowledge that inadequate surveillance causes over 44% of intersection accidents. By failing to notice other motorists, the at-fault driver runs an increased risk of colliding with oncoming traffic. Often, they may not look for other drivers when they are making a left-hand turn. Or, when another motorist is making a left-hand turn, they might not see them. Drivers who fail to check the intersection may also miss bicyclists or pedestrians entering it.
Inattention also can lead to intersection accidents. When motorists text, eat or change the radio station, among other distractions, their focus diverts from the road. By doing these things, they may miss changing lights, crucial signs or oncoming traffic.
Accidents caused by decision errors
Some motorists become more aggressive when approaching an intersection, especially if the light is changing. Red-light runners are common culprits in intersection accidents. But drivers may also increase their speed, pass dangerously or make improper lane changes to beat the light or blow through a sign. These decisions increase the risk of a side-impact crash, especially if oncoming traffic is moving through the intersection.
Many drivers also misjudge the speed of other motorists at intersections, as well as their distance from their vehicle. Some also assume what other motorists will do, then act accordingly. If these judgments prove inaccurate, collisions can occur. Over 8% of intersection accidents occur due to a driver misjudging the intentions of other motorists. And nearly 6% of accidents stem from a motorist’s misjudgment of distance or speed.
When drivers understand the common causes of intersection accidents, they can take steps to prevent them. Yet, these collisions can still occur and could cause serious injuries. A personal injury attorney can help motorists move forward after an intersection accident.