Where you are most likely to get hurt on the roads and what kinds of accidents are most likely to cause you serious injury? Knowing the answers to these questions is important in making safe choices for how to drive defensively and for how to shop for a vehicle with safety features to prevent injuries and deaths.
An auto accident attorney experienced with broadside accidents knows intersections are an especially dangerous place for motorists. In the U.S., approximately 1.9 million motor vehicle accidents each year happen at intersections, according to Safe Roads. In many urban locations, half of all car crashes are intersection-related. A fifth of all fatal crashes nationwide also occur at intersections. Drivers must be careful when approaching intersections and must use caution if they want to avoid becoming one of the many crash victims.
Intersection Accidents are Dangerous Because So Many Are Side-Impact Accidents
All car crashes are dangerous for passengers and drivers, but intersection accidents pose especially high risk. The reason is so many intersection crashes are T-Bone or side impact collisions, where one vehicle hits the side of another (the two form a "T" shape, giving the collisions their name). The side of a car is thin and has little structural integrity, so there is minimal protection for vehicle occupants. The vehicle intrudes into the passenger compartment, and occupants absorb the force of the crash.
T-Bone accidents can happen whenever a driver doesn't yield the right of way or enters an intersection when it is not clear for him to do so. Red light runners are a big cause of T-Bone crashes. One survey found a third of all Americans knows someone who has been involved in a collision caused by someone who ran a red light. An estimated 63 percent of Americans said they saw someone go through a red light several times weekly and, in some cases, saw someone go through a red light approximately once a day.
Motorists approaching intersections should be aware of the high percentage of people who run red lights and cause T-Bone collisions. Drivers need to be proactive and assertive in looking for other drivers going through the intersection, rather than assuming the driver will stop as required.
As you approach an intersection, always be prepared to stop your vehicle if necessary. You should drive at a slow speed when approaching and look at all cross streets to ensure no vehicle is about to enter the intersection. You should also ensure your vehicle brakes are in good working order in case you need to come to a sudden stop.
Running a red light is illegal, which means a driver who does so can be presumed negligent if you wish to pursue a legal claim for compensation. T-Bone crashes frequently cause brain injury or other injuries to the head. Chest and torso injuries are also common in side-impact collisions and can cause permanent impairment or death.