When one woman and her grandson were driving in their Chevy Tahoe down Route 45 in Mississippi one summer day, they couldn’t have imagined that it would be their last ride together. When a Honda Odyssey ran a stop sign at an intersection, it smashed into the side of the Tahoe, ejecting both the driver and her 16-year old passenger, killing them both. It was one more in a long list of fatal accidents in a Mississippi intersection.
Factors Leading to Collisions
A number of issues impact the safety of motorists in intersections. With roughly 40 percent of collisions occurring in intersections, it makes analyzing the potential problems worthwhile. Studies indicate a number of factors that come into play when intersection collisions occur, and those factors break down into roughly three categories: equipment failures, Mother Nature, and driver error. Sometimes the reason for a collision is clearly in one category; more often overlapping issues converge to create disaster.
When traffic signals fail, drivers are at risk. Instead of patiently taking turns, exasperated drivers may rush through an intersection, putting everyone at risk.
Weather conditions can lead to slippery roads, poor visibility, and traffic signal failures. When drivers do not take these conditions into consideration, the results can be tragic.
By far, the most common issue associated with accidents of all kinds is driver distractions. Eating, drinking, applying makeup, texting, and dealing with passengers and pets are all culprits here. Submitting to these kinds of distractions leads to drivers who run stop signs and red lights, ignore yield signs, and waver across lanes. When approaching intersections with unusual or complex designs, drivers should be particularly attentive.
Reckless driving is yet another element impacting intersection crashes. Drivers who tailgate, speed, or otherwise treat the road as their playground create precarious conditions for everyone.
What Makes Intersection Collisions Particularly Dangerous?
Several factors make a collision in an intersection especially hazardous:
- T-bone crashes are more likely, and involve impact with the side of a vehicle where structural supports are less robust;
- When hit broadside, vehicles may be pushed out of their lanes into other vehicles, poles, guardrails, or off the road entirely, leading to rollovers;
- Higher speeds at highway intersections increase the velocity at the time of impact;
Avoid Intersection Collisions
Drivers should always expect the unexpected, especially at intersections, In particular, take care to do the following:
- Heed traffic signals;
- Don’t rush through yellow lights;
- Eliminate distractions;
- Be patient;
- Take your time proceeding forward after a red light turns green.
If You Are a Victim in a Collision
When another driver’s inattention, recklessness or negligence results in serious injury to you or a loved one, the knowledgeable legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC, The Heavy Hitter, can help. Contact us in Jackson for a free, confidential consultation today.