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What causes intersection crashes, and how can you avoid them?

Intersections are dangerous places to be. You’re approaching cross traffic, and you have the potential for pedestrians and cyclists to be using crosswalks. There may be lights or stop signs that you have to abide by, too.

A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that around 96% of all crashes at intersections were a result of driver error. Errors like pulling out into oncoming traffic, running a red light, turning right into a pedestrian and not slowing down fast enough to avoid a rear-end crash are all issues that cause crashes at intersections.

What’s a major cause of intersection crashes?

Intersection crashes happen often, even though there are signs and lights to try to prevent them. Interestingly, a major cause of intersection crashes is called “decision error.” Decision error refers to the mistakes people make when deciding what to do while driving. This might include turning without using a turn signal, pulling out too far into traffic or trying to pass through an intersection during a yellow light that turns red as they approach.

How can you help reduce the risk of an intersection crash?

There are some ways to avoid intersection crashes. Many crashes are caused by aggressive driving, speeding and distractions, so you should focus on the road and make sure to put down any electronic devices. Try to make better decisions about timing, too. For instance, if you are approaching a yellow light, stopping rather than trying to get through it will help keep you safer in most cases.

What should you remember about intersections when you’re driving?

Remember that an intersection is a place where multiple drivers may be making decisions simultaneously. You can only take care of yourself, but by staying in your lane, using turn signals, keeping a good distance between yourself and others and being aware of your surroundings, you can prevent crashes that could otherwise hurt yourself or others.

Drivers make mistakes, but if everyone tried to implement these basic driving techniques, then the total number of collisions could be reduced. Taking precautions is a good way to keep yourself and everyone inside your vehicle safe.