Intersection-Related Accidents Caused by Driver Actions, Study Says

Intersections are often the location for traffic accidents. This may be attributed to the layout of an intersection, a location where at least two roadways cross each other and multiple vehicles are turning left, right, crossing-over, ect... ongoing activities that may lend themselves to an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. However, a recent study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has revealed additional factors that contribute to a greater chance of intersection-related collisions.

The NHTSA study publication, titled "Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes: An On-Scene Perspective," analyzed data from The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, which examined intersection crash sites from 2005-2007. As well as data from the National Automotive Sampling System-General Estimates System and Fatality Analysis Reporting System. By examining the data from various sources, the study findings determined common crash factors that led to an intersection-related car accident. The common factors examined were the gender and age of the drivers, weather-related conditions, stoplights or stop signs and pre-crash events that made the collision unavoidable, such as a car crossing into another lane or hazardous road conditions.

Intersection Collisions Often Caused by Drivers

Based on study findings, 46 percent of the traffic accidents in the U.S. were attributed to intersection collisions. Of those accidents, 96 percent were deemed to be caused by the drivers. Some reasons for intersection-related accidents, caused by drivers include:

  • Turning without a clear view
  • Traffic violations
  • Incorrectly anticipating the other driver's actions or speed
  • Distractions inside the vehicle
  • Failure to observe the other vehicles/drivers in the intersection

Of the reasons for driver-attributed crashes, the most common was drivers who turned left or right in the intersection without having a clear view, or having an obstructed view. Followed by failure to observe the other vehicles and traffic violations, as compared to non-intersection-related accidents.

There were some differences in crashes caused by male or female drivers as well. Intersection accidents were more likely to be caused by male drivers who were speeding, violating traffic rules or driving too aggressively. Whereas female drivers were more likely to be inattentive or distracted when traveling through an intersection.

The common factors leading to intersection-related accidents and the high rate of these types of collisions may pave the way for much needed safety improvements, such as "intersection collision avoidance technologies" recommended in the study findings. These types of improvements would warn drivers of a possible collision or violation.

Until new safety devices and designs are implemented, if you are injured in an intersection-related car accident, speak to a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and help you seek compensation for your injuries.