No matter where in the world we are commuting, whether we are traveling by car or by foot, there are certain areas on and around our roadways that tend to be hot spots for car accidents and pedestrian injuries. Traffic intersections remain at the top of the list when it comes to these problematic areas. Thankfully, there are multiple engineering efforts in effect on behalf of our roadway officials and experts, such as special geometric designs and the utilization of various traffic control devices. These efforts work as preventative measures to reduce accident and injury at our intersections, and they are ever-evolving, with new designs and strategies introduced periodically.
Your Role in Intersection Accident Prevention
Along with these collision prevention efforts, drivers and pedestrians are left to do their part in taking a proactive role in their own safety. Intersections will always be hazardous due to the nature of their surroundings. Pedestrians and motorists meet and converge at traffic signals for a number of activities, naturally producing opportunities for collision. There are certain steps we can take, however, that lower our chances of accident or injury significantly. Remaining alert as we drive or pass through an intersection is our very best defense against experiencing an accident.
Here are some common hazards that signal danger as we approach an intersection and how to spot them sooner, rather than later:
Drivers failing to yield – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that a common cause of angle and turning crashes at intersections are caused by the failure to yield to oncoming vehicles. Flashing Yellow Arrow signals (FYAs) have been implemented to address this problem. Watch out for drivers who are speeding through these flashing lights and failing to yield to you as you move in their direction. The moment you see this, slow down immediately and approach the signal with extreme caution.
Aggressive behaviors – Be on the lookout for any signs of other drivers displaying erratic or aggressive behaviors. For example, if you see someone speeding, tailgating, or swerving impulsively as you approach a busy intersection, slow down, do not make eye contact, and do not challenge the driver in any way. These are signs of angry, intoxicated, or unstable driving, and should be avoided at all costs. If you feel you are in serious danger or that the lives of others are in danger, do not hesitate to pull to the side of the road and notify the authorities.
Incorrect (or lack of) use of designated crosswalks – Another hazard to watch out for is a pedestrian crossing the road where no marked crosswalk exists or using a crosswalk incorrectly, such as walking when the signal tells them not to. Pedestrians who fail to obey the intersection signals and signs place everyone who crosses their path at risk for accident and injury. When you witness this, make sure you are not speeding and that you are prepared to stop suddenly.
If you have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in any kind of intersection-related collision, it is important to speak with a qualified Lake County car accident attorney to arm yourself with the resources you need to protect your rights in a court of law. The moment you are injured, call Call Salvi & Maher, LLC at 847-662-3303 and ask for a personal consultation.