Intersections Pose a Risk for Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor-Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents can happen when one least expects them, leaving you with serious physical injuries and damages. When it comes to the most severe accidents involving pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists, one of the most common places they happen is at intersections.
Due to the different directions of moving traffic at intersections and sometimes confusing lane designs, there is often a high risk of collisions with other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Whichever the case, crashes at intersections can lead to life-threatening bodily injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
Here are factors contributing to accidents at intersections and the efforts you can make to minimize these accidents.
Intersections: Where Accidents Occur Most Frequently
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that over 50% of all fatal and injury accidents usually happen at or near intersections, often involving multiple vehicles and other road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2021, there were 7388 pedestrian fatalities and 961 cyclist fatalities, about 60,000 pedestrians, and 41,000 cyclists injured in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. The most common intersection-related accidents include:
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents due to failure to yield at pedestrian crossing and swerving into sidewalks
- T-bone collisions when drivers run red or yellow lights
- Rear-end collisions due to sudden stops
- Head-on crashes when faced with confusing lane configurations or passing other vehicles
5 Factors Contributing to the Increased Risk of Intersection Accidents
According to the Florida Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), more than 30% of all traffic fatalities happen at intersections. Here are the five most common factors contributing to intersection-related accidents.
Reckless behavior on the part of drivers, such as distracted driving, driving while impaired, aggressive driving, and high speeds, lead to increased risk of pedestrian, bicyclist, and motor vehicle accidents at intersections.
Failing to Yield to Pedestrians
As per Florida Statute 316.130, pedestrians have the right-of-way at marked and unmarked crosswalks at intersections. When drivers do not give the right-of-way to pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists, this can lead to severe collisions at intersections.
The intersection design, including lane configurations, signage, lighting, and the number of lanes, can also increase the risk of accidents at intersections.
Inattentive Pedestrians and Cyclists
Jaywalking pedestrians and bicyclists who ignore their surroundings can also increase the risk of intersection accidents, given the complex maneuvers required at intersections and the likelihood of drivers focusing on the road rather than the presence of other road users.
Inadequate Pedestrian and Bicyclist Infrastructure
Inadequate crosswalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian signals can also increase the risk of intersection-related accidents where road users share the roadways, which risks their safety.
Reducing the Risk of Intersection Accidents
Intersection safety is paramount, given the number of conflict points at intersections, which can lead to severe collisions. To reduce the frequency and severity of injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, you can employ several strategies to avoid intersection-related collisions. Some of these approaches include:
- Pay attention to traffic control devices before reaching an intersection so that you can know how the traffic flow ought to be
- Expect pedestrians and bicyclists at intersections
- Slow down when approaching intersections and be prepared to stop at intersections
- Follow the speed limit
- Walk on designated sidewalks, if there aren’t any, walk facing traffic but as far away from traffic as possible
- Never try to pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks; there could be pedestrians crossing
- Be cautious when driving in hard-to-see conditions
- When making a turn, look out for pedestrians and cyclists before completing your turn.
Seeking Compensation After an Accident
Accidents happen, even to the most cautious pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists on the road. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident while walking or biking, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. This compensation includes:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost earnings, current and future
- Loss of or damage to your property
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Florida has several avenues for pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle accident victims to seek compensation, including:
- Filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Hiring an attorney. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and negotiate with insurance companies to secure the best possible reimbursement
- Filing a lawsuit. When negotiations fall through, you can file a lawsuit against the negligent party to receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Injured in an Intersection Accident in Vero Beach, Florida? Contact Our Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you care about was injured in an intersection accident in Vero Beach, Florida, contact our experienced auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff today at (772) 492-8967 or online to schedule a free consultation. We can help you pursue the best possible compensation you deserve for your injuries while you focus on your recovery.