Crashes at intersections are among the most common. Why? These locations are where vehicles are most likely to cross each other’s paths.
There are many reasons why people crash in intersections, but there are a few that are more common than others, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These include:
- Making a left turn at an intersection (crossing oncoming traffic)
- Crossing over at an intersection (merging into another lane while passing through the intersection)
- Turning right at an intersection (and striking or being struck by side traffic)
These driving patterns are the most likely to lead to a car crash, so what can you do to stay safe?
- When making a left turn, wait for clear roads or a green turn signal.
- Stay in your lane as you pass through the intersection. Don’t try to merge into the second lane heading in the same direction while in the intersection, since this may catch other drivers off-guard.
- Look both ways before turning right at an intersection, especially when turning right on red. This will help you avoid being hit by traffic coming from your left as well as colliding with pedestrians to the right in the crosswalk.
On top of understanding how to address the potential consequences of lane merging or turns, you should remember other helpful tips for staying focused to avoid crashes.
When you’re driving, keep these tips in mind
While driving, put away your cell phone and don’t text behind the wheel. Whether talking or typing, the use of a cell phone takes your mind off what you’re doing, your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
Avoid eating, drinking or applying makeup in your vehicle, even if you’re stopped at an intersection and red light.
Finally, be prepared to yield any time you’re approaching an intersection, even if you have the right of way. Other drivers may make errors, so stay focused on the road to avoid collisions with them after they make mistakes.
Keep these tips in mind to stay safer as you approach and pass through intersections. If you do end up in a crash, you’ll know that you took every step you could to avoid one.