Car accidents can happen anywhere, but those that happen in intersections are the most serious types, often resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Failure to obey traffic lights and signals in intersections is the most common cause of this type of car accident. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported a startling increase in intersection accidents in the past 10 years and estimate that at least two people are killed in intersection accidents everyday in the United States.
A recent AAA study revealed tragic statistics related to intersection accidents.
- There were 939 intersection car accident fatalities in 2017 compared to 715 fatalities in 2009.
- Thirty-five percent of intersection accidents resulted from drivers running a red light.
- More than 50 percent of people killed in intersection accidents were those riding in vehicles struck by a driver that failed to yield to a red light.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists represent five percent of all intersection accident fatalities.
Though the authors of the study could not specifically name the reasons for the sharp increase in intersection accidents, many suspect distracted driving to be the leading cause. Texting, cell phone usage, onboard navigation systems, infotainment systems, and even eating and drinking while driving are all forms of distracted driving that lead to fatal accidents each year.
In a previous study, AAA found that one-third of drivers involved in intersection accidents admitted to speeding up to cross an intersection as the light turned from yellow to red. Drivers that proceed into the intersection on a green light are often broadsided by a car that is trying to beat the light. The few minutes of time it saves that driver often results in the loss of a life for someone else.
AAA also suggests that the recession in the United States 10 years ago resulted in high unemployment rates and gas prices that kept people off the road. The recovering economy has led to a steady decrease in unemployment rates and gas prices, which has encouraged people to travel more. The higher volume of traffic on the road may be a contributing factor for the increase in intersection accidents.
Preventing Intersection Accidents
There are several precautions that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can take to prevent serious and often fatal intersection accidents.
- Avoid all forms of distracted driving, including cell phone usage, texting, onboard navigation, and infotainment systems, as well as eating and drinking
- Approach intersections with caution, paying close attention to traffic lights and signals
- Make sure an intersection is clear of moving cars before proceeding into the intersection
- Use crosswalks and overpasses when available to pedestrians and bicyclists
- Wait a few seconds before proceeding into an intersection once the traffic light has turned from red to green
- Obey yellow traffic signals and stop when it is possible before proceeding into the intersection
- Do not drive, walk, jog, or ride a bicycle using ear buds or headphones
- Pull over to the side of the road for flashing lights and sirens
Huntsville Car Accident Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Help Victims of Car Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact the Huntsville car accident lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. today. We will fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries. Call us at 256-539-3110 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Athens and Huntsville, Alabama, we serve clients throughout North Alabama, Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, and Lauderdale County.