Never Let an Intersection Be Your Crossroads to an Accident

The Insurance Research Council estimates that 81 percent of all crashes occur in urban areas of which the most dangerous locations are busy intersections. Nearly 43 percent of all auto accidents that happen in a city are intersection-related.

Even though intersections can be hazardous, that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. Just remember these common sense rules for intersection driving:

·   Never wait until the last minute to get into the lane you need for your next turn. Always change lanes well in advance of reaching the intersection. Put your turn signal on before making any turn.

·   Avoid speeding through an intersection. You need time to react if a motorist fails to stop for a red light or stop sign. You also want to be sure you have plenty of time to brake if pedestrians cross against the light.

·   Be aware of other vehicles changing lanes. Keep out of other
drivers’ “blind spots” where they cannot see you in their rear and side

·   Stop behind the marked crosswalk. This will allow other drivers to see across the entire intersection. It will also prevent you from hitting pedestrians.

·   Don’t enter an intersection when the traffic is backed up on the
other side. You could wind up getting stuck in the middle of the
intersection if the traffic doesn’t move.

·   Watch for cars speeding through intersections after a red light. If you are waiting at a red light, don’t floor the gas pedal the moment the light turns green. Instead, quickly look both ways before proceeding through the intersection. If a motorist coming from one of the opposite directions is trying to speed through before the light turns red, you could be hit if you rush into the intersection at the instant the light turns green without looking for oncoming cars.

·   Check for cars twice before pulling into an intersection at a stop sign. It is a common occurrence to stop at a stop sign to make a left-hand turn, look both ways, and see no cars coming. Only to find that once you have begun the turn, a car has come out of nowhere and is headed straight for you. If you check twice before proceeding, you will allow enough time for the car that was hidden from your view to clearly emerge.