The prevention of intersection accidents could help save thousands of lives and prevent thousands of injuries annually. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that 40 percent of all collisions nationwide each year occur at intersections. Accidents at intersections are most likely to be T-bone crashes, which have higher fatality rates than head-on collisions or other accidents.

Drivers should be aware of common intersection accident causes so they can avoid behaviors which increase the risk of a crash occurring.

Risks of Intersection Accidents & Tips for Crash Prevention

Speeding and aggressive driving is the leading cause of most accidents, causing 22.8 percent of all crashes which do not occur at intersections. However, the top cause of intersection accidents is different, according to NHTSA’s crash data summary. The major reason why intersection accidents happen is because of inadequate surveillance.

Inadequate surveillance causes 44.1 percent of intersection accidents. Drivers can correct this by making sure they carefully observe what is going on around them and identifying what all other vehicles are doing before entering an intersection.

The second leading cause of intersection accidents is drivers making an incorrect assumption about what other motorists are going to do. In 8.4 percent of intersection accidents, drivers make mistaken assumptions. Motorists should never assume the behaviors of others. Wait and watch to see what another driver at an intersection will do before you act.

The third leading cause of crashes at intersections is drivers turning with an obstructed view. Drivers who wish to avoid these types of intersection accidents should inch forward slowly and cautiously when they cannot see, until they have a clearer view of the road.

Illegal maneuvers are the fourth leading cause of intersection accidents, responsible for 6.8 percent of this collision type. Internal distraction is the fifth most common reason intersection accidents happen, with loss of driver focus causing 5.7 percent of intersection collisions. Drivers must avoid becoming distracted and stay focused on the road. Motorists 24 and under are much more likely to be involved in intersection accident collisions as a result of distraction, as compared with people of other age groups.

Finally, the sixth most common explanation for why an intersection action occurs is drivers misjudging gaps. For drivers 55 and older, this is the most likely reason why intersection accidents occur. Drivers should be sure they have enough time to completely clear the intersection prior to entering if there are other cars coming. Make sure the gap provides you with more time than you think you will need before you enter the intersection.

If you or someone you love is injured in a collision at an intersection, our auto accident lawyers in Harrisburg, PA can help. Contact Metzger Wickersham today for your free and confidential consultation.