Intersections are a dangerous place on South Carolina roadways, where more than one in ten roadway fatalities occur. What makes them so perilous? The truth is, a number of factors impact safety in intersections, ranging from driver error to confusing signage & road markings. Whatever the reasons, when accidents occur in intersections, they can be particularly hazardous. If you are involved in such a collision, an aggressive car accident lawyer can help.
What Makes These Accidents More Serious?
When collisions occur in intersections, they are often linked to more serious injuries, and even fatalities, for a number of reasons:
- Accidents frequently involve T-boning, when one vehicle is struck in the side, where structural supports tend to be weakest;
- Vehicles that are hit broadside are more likely to be shoved into other vehicles or obstacles;
- Many broadside hits result in rollovers; and
- High speeds in intersections lead to greater velocity at the moment of impact.
Driver Distraction Impacts Crash Rates
The number-one issue associated with all types of collisions is driver distraction. Motorists who engage in eating, texting, and other distractions while behind the wheel put everyone at risk. Intersections, in particular, require a driver’s attention.
Roadway Improvements Have Made Intersections Safer
In South Carolina, the Department of Transportation is working to ease the confusion associated with the most dangerous intersections in the state by making sweeping changes,among them the following:
- Adding signs on both the left and right to alert drivers to upcoming intersections;
- Providing larger signs with fluorescent lettering;
- Identifying upcoming street names well in advance of the intersection;
- Marking stop bars clearly;
- Adding more crosswalks;
- Creating more painted arrows and worded messages on lanes;
- Adding one signal per lane in high accident areas; and
- Creating more pedestrian countdown signals.
Driver Responsibility helps reduce crash rates in Intersections
Even with improvements to the design and signage at intersections, ultimately drivers must make smart decisions while behind the wheel:
- Don’t speed up in order to make it through a light. You just might wind up colliding with someone who jumped the light going in a perpendicular direction;
- Proceed slowly through a light when it turns from red to green. There may still be traffic in the intersection going the other way;
- When mechanical failures with signal lights occur, remain patient and alert. Take turns advancing through the intersection.
- Drive appropriately for road conditions. When visibility is low or roadways are wet, drop your speed accordingly;
- Be particularly cautious with regard to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Keep your focus on the road. It could save a life.
What To Do Following a Collision in an Intersection
If you are the victim of an accident that is a result of another driver’s negligence, distraction, or recklessness, you may be dealing with serious injuries in addition to property damage. The tough team at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm knows how to fight back against this kind of injustice. Contact us in Greenville for a free, confidential consultation to discuss the ways in which we can help.