Why Intersections Are So Dangerous

San Diego Medical and fire teams working after a car accident at intersection

Over 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are approximately 2.5 million intersection accidents per year. San Diego is no exception. In recent years, San Diego drivers have been voted among the worst in the country!

The most important factor in most intersection collisions is driver negligence. There are many factors that contribute to negligence that lead to San Diego intersection accidents. Below are just a few of the reasons intersections are so dangerous.

What are the main causes of intersection accidents?

  1. People are in a hurryWe live in a fast-paced world. Whether it’s getting to work or running an errand, feeling “rushed” can sometimes feel like it’s always there. Sometimes this rush or hurry means people make poor decisions on the road. Waiting at the red light, slowing down as it turns yellow, making sure it’s safe to pass through an intersection. These are all reasons that rushing can cause an accident.Many drivers will speed up through a yellow instead of slowing down. “Beating the light” is just one way an intersection immediately becomes more dangerous. Instead of focusing on the surroundings and safety, the driver is focused on beating the light changing. A simple fix is to try to leave well in advance of your planned time. Checking the traffic and road conditions before leaving will also help with timing your arrival.
  2. Too many points of entry at the intersectionWhen an intersection has increased points of entry, there is the opportunity for more cars and thus more danger. In places like downtown San Diego, businesses line the streets and there are parking lot entries and exits that are sometimes hard to see. This creates the opportunity for more car accidents.With more vehicles, the amount of traffic funneling in and out can quickly back up. Drivers may not want to get stuck at one of these lights due to the timing of the main road versus coming out of a business parking lot. There are also bikers on the road and pedestrians along the sidewalk. A driver may be more focused on finding a store than the road in front of them. With so much going on and different entry points, the potential for a car accident is higher.
  3. Illegal and dangerous turns at intersectionsAs drivers, we all agree to obey traffic laws. Unfortunately, many drivers will make illegal or dangerous turns to save time. This not only puts other drivers at risk, pedestrians, bicyclists, and the driver themselves. Trying to make a quick turn without checking the crosswalk can lead to pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
  4. Distracted pedestriansRecently, Hawaii became the first state to enact a distracted pedestrian law. It outlaws the use of cell phones, cameras, gaming systems, etc. while walking through an intersection.The law was partly based on an Ohio State study that showed pedestrians were distracted by phones too, not just drivers. Pedestrians can focus on their phones more closely than drivers. As a result, they can lose sight of their surroundings and miss signals or trip and fall. Smartphones are a reason for both distracted driving and walking that can lead to more intersection accidents.
  5. Design or maintenance defects in the intersectionIn some cases, there may not be any human error at all. There could be design or maintenance issues that cause or contribute to the accident. If this is the case, the local government may be responsible.

Some common design flaws or defects in intersections are:

  • Lanes marked improperly or incorrect width
  • Confusing or obstructed signs
  • Difficult visibility or inadequate lighting
  • Defects in traffic signals
  • Shoulders missing or sharp drop-off
  • Failures to comply with state or federal regulations
  • Fixed object hazards like guardrails
  • Poorly maintained roads

San Diego Car Accident Lawyer

My name is Daniel Hanecak and I am a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer. I know from personal experience how stressful and time consuming a car accident can be. When you call Hanecak Law Inc., you will speak with me directly. It is my aim to provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me today at (858) 206-4326 for a free case evaluation.

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