Driving straight ahead, with no obstacles or cross-traffic, is not always so difficult. It’s when cars come to an intersection that things start to get complicated, especially when there are no traffic signals. Which driver has the right of way? There’s nobody coming, so is it safe to go?
Intersections lead to a large number of accidents, and roughly half of all injuries or fatalities related to car crashes occur at or near intersections. That’s why many cities and governments are working on enhanced safety measures to help prevent these types of auto accidents.
Most intersection crashes happen at unsignalized intersections, which means there are no traffic signals to guide motorists. An unsignalized intersection may have:
- A stop sign. There is at least one stop sign at the intersection.
- A yield sign. The intersection has one or more yield signs.
- No traffic signs at all. This is considered to be an uncontrolled intersection. While not common, they can be found in rural areas as well as on low-volume residential streets.
Statistics on Crashes at Intersections
Intersections can be deadly for motorists. From 2015 to 2016, fatalities at intersections increased but then dropped off in the subsequent years.
In 2015, there were 35,484 auto accident fatalities in the United States. Of those, 9,664 occurred at an intersection. Of those, most — 6,741 — happened at unsignalized intersections. At those unsignalized intersections, 885 pedestrians and 218 bicyclists were killed.
In 2016, the number of traffic fatalities increased to 37,806. Intersection fatalities rose to 10,414, with 7,116 fatalities occurring at unsignalized intersections. The number of bicyclists killed decreased slightly to 205, but pedestrian fatalities increased to 1,009.
In 2017, traffic fatalities dropped off to 37,133. Intersection fatalities also decreased, going down to 10,301, as did fatalities at unsignalized intersections, declining to 7,030. Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths also saw decreases — to 983 and 198, respectively.
The good news is that 2018 continued to see declines for the most part. Total traffic fatalities went down to 36,835. Fatalities at intersections also dropped to 10,011, with 6,737 deaths at unsignalized intersections. Pedestrian fatalities dropped slightly to 979. Bicyclist deaths did increase to 220, but that was the only increase in 2018.
Researchers are always looking for ways to make intersections safer. Many are short-term improvements to help save lives as better, more permanent solutions are found. Innovative intersection designs can help improve traffic flow and prevent accidents. These include:
- Roundabouts and mini-roundabouts
- Restricted crossing U-turn intersections
- Continuous flow intersections
- Diverging diamond interchanges
Contact Us Today
Intersections can be tricky, especially if there are no traffic signals to move traffic along. Not acting in a safe manner can lead to serious car accidents.
If you have been involved in a car accident, no matter the case, contact the Los Angeles Car Accidents Attorneys with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers. We will investigate your case, determine liability, and help you obtain the injury settlement you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 213-985-1120 or fill out the online form.