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How does driver negligence lead to intersection crashes?

Driving is a necessity in society; therefore, travelers have grown accustomed with the various costs and benefits associated with personal vehicles. While many residents in Pennsylvania rely on automobiles to get to and from their destinations, these modes of transportation pose many risks and dangers. However, many of these risks that lead to a car accident are based on human behaviors.

How do drivers' attitudes and behaviors lead to intersection crashes? A study by the Federal Highway Administration researched the key attitudes and behaviors of drivers that were likely to lead to an intersection accident. Specifically, this study considered driving performance, perceptual and cognitive holdups and any constraints that could have a negative impact on intersection safety.

Four specific scenarios were focused on in this study. This included running a red light, the failure to yield and making a left turn at a busy intersection, turning left onto a major road with moderate traffic and rear-end collisions. For scenario one, it was discovered that drivers often engage in this behavior because they are under the impression that if they accelerate through the intersection they will make it through before it turns red. The second scenario occurs when a driver is at a busy intersection and is waiting to turn left; however an oncoming vehicle is also waiting to turn left. This makes it difficult to see oncoming traffic; thus, a driver takes the risk to quickly make this maneuver.

Scenario three occurs when a vehicle is stopped at a stop sign on a minor road and is waiting to turn left on a major road. Because there is a constant flow of traffic with no signal to stop them, a vehicle takes the risk to accelerate quickly in order to make this turn. The final scenario, which is a rear-end collision, occurs when a vehicle is approaching an intersection at a speed; however, because the light turns yellow, they stop suddenly in order to avoid going through the intersection.

Whatever the cause of an intersection collision, these crashes have the tendency of being rather severe. Unsuspecting drivers could suffer serious injuries because of the negligence and recklessness of another motorist. However, injured victims should note they have rights and recourses. A personal injury claim could help the victim hold a negligent driver liable and help them pursue compensation for any losses and damages.

Source: fhwa.dot.gov, "Driver Attitudes and Behaviors at Intersections and Potential Effectiveness of Engineering Countermeasures," Accessed April 1, 2017

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