When two or more cars come together at an intersection, the potential for an accident is high if any one driver fails to follow safety rules. Unfortunately, there are many possible things that can go wrong. The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute estimates that around 40 percent of all 2008 car crashes in the U.S. happened at an intersection. The Illinois Department of Transportation also indicates that 26.3 percent of the 835 fatal accidents in the state occurred at an intersection during 2011. The 835 fatal accidents resulted in a total of 918 deaths.
When a driver causes a crash because he doesn’t follow the rules or behave in a reasonably prudent way at an intersection, it is very important that he or she be held accountable. The driver responsible for the crash could be sued and made to pay compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
Common Causes of Intersection Accidents
Intersection accidents can happen at any location where cars come together. However, they are especially likely to occur on the busy urban streets of Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois where there is a lot of traffic and where drivers may be impatient and aggressive in trying to make it through the intersection.
Specific bad behavior on the part of drivers at intersections is also likely to cause or contribute to a crash. The NHTSA has identified certain common causes of intersection crashes, all of which relate to at least one driver’s failure to be reasonably prudent.
These common crash causes include:
- Inadequate observation – In 44.1 percent of intersection accidents caused by drivers, the crash occurs due to a failure to properly survey and observe the status of the traffic in the intersection.
- Incorrect assumptions – In 8.4 percent of intersection accidents caused by drivers, the accident occurred because a driver made the wrong guess about what another driver was going to do.
- Turns despite obstructed views – In 7.8 percent of intersection accidents caused by drivers, the car wreck occurred because a driver made a turn without first confirming that the intersection was clear.
- Illegal actions – In 6.8 percent of intersection accidents that a driver caused, the driver broke driving laws by doing actions such as running a red light, turning from the incorrect lane or making an illegal U-turn.
- Driver distraction – In 5.7 percent of intersection accidents that a driver caused, the driver was distracted. In another 3.4 percent of cases, the driver was inattentive. Cell phones, grooming, entering directions into a GPS, reading a map, reaching for something in the car, playing with the internal car controls or eating while driving are all potential causes of a distracted driving wreck.
- Driver misjudgment – In 5.5 percent of intersection accidents that a driver caused, the driver misjudged the speed of another driver or misjudged the amount of time he had to drive or turn.
These were the top contributing driver-related behaviors that led to intersection accidents. Unfortunately, the NHTSA indicates that a full 96 percent of intersection accidents result from a bad decision made by one or more drivers. This means that all of these accidents could potentially have been prevented by a more careful driver. The remaining 4 percent of crashes occurred due to intersection design, malfunctions with the traffic lights or signals or problems with one or more vehicles.
Contact Our Intersection Accident Lawyers
You deserve compensation if you were injured in an intersection accident caused by someone else. The intersection accident attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation. Offices in Chicago and Waukegan.