Are you a daily commuter that travels in and out of Oklahoma City to and from work each day? Perhaps, you’re among those who work from home but still travel into the city to go shopping and run errands. Either way, chances are that anytime you navigate Oklahoma roadways, you’re at risk for injury, especially if you happen to be at an intersection.
Intersections are highly dangerous places, whether you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, on a motorcycle, walking or riding a bicycle. As a pedestrian or a licensed driver, you’re legally obligated to adhere to all traffic laws and safety regulations, including those pertaining to intersections. The problem is that there is no guarantee that all travelers sharing the road with you will fulfill their legal obligations. In fact, some drivers are downright reckless.
Intersection collisions rank second in the nation
The Federal Highway Safety Administration has published data that shows rear-end collisions occur in Oklahoma and elsewhere in the United States more than any other type of collision. The second most common type of collision occurs at intersections.
If you’re at an intersection, there’s a significant chance a distracted driver is nearby. According to the FHSA, more than 95% of intersection collisions are later determined to have had driver distraction as a causal factor. This is why, even if you’re an experienced driver or pedestrian, it’s always best to proceed with great caution when approaching a crossroad.
Never assume what will happen at an intersection
Most intersection collisions are later deemed to have been preventable were it not for drivers’ errors. Many people get used to traveling the same routes every day, so they assume they know what to expect at a specific crossroad. For instance, if a driver thinks the light is always green when he or she gets to a particular intersection in the morning, failure to slow down and pay attention to the traffic light ahead might result in a sudden collision.
Crossroads often contain visual obstructions
Have you ever noticed that there are often parked cars, trees, light posts and other objects near intersections? When driving or walking, such objects can cause significant visibility impediments. If a motorist enters a turn knowing that he or she can’t see around a vehicle parked nearby, it can lead to a serious motor vehicle accident that causes another driver or a pedestrian serious injuries.
Road rage is real, and it’s dangerous
Even if a driver sees a red light or stop sign, you have no way of knowing if he or she is actually going to stop. Angry drivers often blow past intersection signage or try to cut around the car in front of them so they don’t have to idle their vehicles. If you have a green light, enter the intersection slowly, carefully, and only after making sure all the vehicles in all directions are stopping or yielding as required.
If you suffer an injury at an intersection
What if you’re a pedestrian and you have the walk light in your favor? You carefully step into the roadway to cross the street and a vehicle suddenly speeds through the intersection and hits you. The court often holds drivers like that financially accountable for damages when those who suffered injuries because of their negligence file personal injury claims in civil court.
Recovering victims often used court-awarded compensation to help offset medical bills and other expenses associated with the collisions that caused them injury but for which they were not at fault.