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The surprising cause of many intersection collisions

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Car Accidents |

A significant percentage of the crashes that occur every year take place at intersections. Even though motorists often have to slow to a stop at intersections and know that they need to check their surroundings carefully for oncoming traffic, a large number of preventable collisions take place at intersections because of poor driving practices.

The way people drive near intersections can be quite unsafe. They might roll through a stop sign instead of coming to a complete stop or only glance to the left and never check the right for oncoming traffic. They may not yield the right of way to drivers approaching from another direction or look down at their phones instead of at the road.

All kinds of bad habits and questionable choices at the wheel may lead to crashes, but there is also one common maneuver that contributes to a large number of collisions at intersections.

One choice causes a majority of intersection collisions

At most intersections where two streets cross, motorists have only three options. They can proceed directly through on the same road or turn in either direction. The operation of vehicles on the right-hand side of the road in the United States means that left-hand turns take the longest and have the most exposure to oncoming traffic.

Therefore, it makes sense that they are the most dangerous choice a driver could make at a busy intersection. A review of collision details shows that over 60% of the wrecks that occur at intersections involve at least one driver attempting to turn left. The issue is serious enough that delivery companies and urban planners have begun making changes to reduce how often drivers turn left.

Although people can’t just avoid making all left-hand turns, those who are aware of the risk involved can make better choices about how and when they turn. Those who are more careful about monitoring traffic and avoid turning left at the busiest intersections when traffic is heavy could potentially reduce their personal risk of a collision. Learning more about what contributes to many crashes can, therefore, help individuals stay safer on the road.