Even if you drive a short distance, you’re sure to encounter a few intersections. As we stop and turn or proceed along, we may take for granted the hazards of an intersection, yet they are there. Attorneys Travis B. Terry and Jackson R. Reed have helped countless clients with lawsuits when car accidents lead to serious injuries or fatalities, and many of these crashes involve collisions at intersections.
The Richmond, TX legal team of Reed & Terry, LLP would like to consider some of the hazards of intersection accidents and why so many people are at risk for injury at these common fixtures of suburban roads and city streets.
National Intersection Accident Statistics
According to a major data study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 2,307,000 intersection collisions in 2008. That accounted for 40 percent of all collisions that year.
Intersection Accidents in the State of Texas
Looking at more recent numbers from the NHTSA, there were 724 fatal intersection crashes in the state of Texas in 2017. That is up slightly from the 719 fatal intersections in Texas in 2016.
These state numbers and national figures should give you an idea about the hazards for anyone passing through an intersection.
Types of Crashes in Intersections
Of all the types of crashes that may occur at an intersection, T-bone accidents are among the most common and the most deadly. Also known as broadside collisions, these types of crashes involve the front of one vehicle striking the side of another vehicle. A perpendicular impact like this is particularly dangerous for the vehicle struck on the side given how comparatively vulnerable that part of vehicle is in a collision.
What Causes Intersection Crashes?
Some common causes of intersection collisions include:
- Driver Inattention - If a motorist is using their cellphone, reaching for an object, rubbernecking, or not paying attention to others on the road, this can increase the chances of a crash.
- Running a Red Light - Running a red light or a stop sign increases the chances of T-bone collisions and other kinds of intersection crashes.
- Failure to Yield the Right of Way - If motorists do not yield the right of way while making right or left turns, the likelihood of a collision increases.
- Unguarded Left Turns - On the note of turns, motorists must be careful when making unguarded left turns, especially on busy roads.
- Drunk Driving - Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts you, your passengers, and others at risk. Only get behind the wheel when you are sober.
- Traffic Signal Malfunction - When traffic signals do not work properly, otherwise safe drivers may be put at serious risk of collision.
- Poor Weather - Rain, fog, ice, and other types of inclement weather can make intersection crashes more likely.
- Bad Road Conditions - If the intersection is poorly designed or there are obstacles or issues with the road surface, there is an increased risk of a collision occurring.
Hazards to Pedestrians and Bicyclists
We should also note that pedestrians and bicyclists face additional risks of injury at intersections. This is particularly true when motorists are making turns. If drivers do not pay attention to oncoming bikes or pedestrians, this could lead to a serious injury.
Learn More About Car Accident Lawsuits
For more information about your legal rights and options following a collision, be sure to contact our team of auto accident lawyers. The team at Reed & Terry, LLP is here to help. You can reach our legal practice by phone at (281) 201-0988.