Red light hanging above a paved street in the city

Main Causes of Intersection Accidents

Intersections are known to be hotbeds for disaster when it comes to car accidents.

Although any road can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians, the risks are higher whenever cars cross lanes or pass in opposite directions. 

As such, it’s essential to understand how intersection crashes occur, the dangers involved, and how you can avoid these accidents. 

Intersection Accident Statistics

For motorists in Long Island, intersections are just another element of a typical commute. Unfortunately, these zones are rife with opportunities for crashes and injuries.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 40% of annual crashes in the United States occur at intersections. Of the impacts analyzed, 96% of intersection accidents were directly caused by driver errors.

For 2020, the NHTSA reported 2,282,015 car crash injuries and 38,824 fatalities across the United States. When adjusted to reflect annual figures, the thousands of preventable car crash injuries that happen at intersections are both shocking and regrettable.

How Intersection Accidents Occur

Intersection accidents can vary widely in nature depending on several factors and circumstances, including:

  • The size and weight of the vehicles involved
  • The speed of the vehicles at or in the intersection
  • The type of intersection (e.g., traffic lights vs. stop signs)
  • The number of vehicles involved
  • Driver impairment or distraction
  • Weather conditions
  • Visibility obstructions

While many accidents are caused by speeding or DUI, intersection accidents are more closely associated with moving violations and distracted driving. In many cases, crashes at intersections occur because there’s confusion over the right-of-way. 

Some of the most common causes of intersection collisions include:

Lack of Awareness

Intersections can be bustling transit zones, with many cars passing through constantly. Consequently, there can sometimes be confusion about how to proceed when drivers approach these areas.

An uncertain driver may change lanes suddenly, enter a busy intersection out of turn, or pass through without looking for oncoming vehicles.

False Assumption

Driving requires a great deal of etiquette and spatial awareness, especially at intersections. Sometimes, drivers can make false assumptions regarding other vehicles’ intentions. For example, when one driver assumes another is turning first, chaos can ensue, and the vehicles may collide.

Poor judgment is difficult to assess. It’s therefore no surprise that a small mistake at an intersection can result in severe injury.

Moving Violations

Although New York’s roadways feature prominent signage to promote safe driving, motorists are known to ignore the rules of the road.

Intersections don’t leave much room for mistakes. Common examples of moving violations that can result in intersection crashes include:

  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Turning in a no-turn zone
  • Performing an illegal U-turn
  • Making an inappropriate lane change
  • Reckless driving

Anytime motorists engage in dangerous or reckless behaviors, the results can be devastating, but this is particularly true at intersections.

Distracted Driving

Too many drivers fail to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. In the worst-case scenario, distracted driving can prove to be deadly.

Although New York drivers are expected to perform their duty of care, distractions often abound. Some examples of distracted driving include:

  • Using a phone or other device
  • Adjusting the car’s sound system
  • Adjusting the cabin temperature
  • Performing personal grooming tasks
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers

Any time a driver takes their focus away from operating their vehicle, the risk of accidents and injuries greatly increases. 

Intersection Crash Attorneys in Long Island

If a neglectful driver has injured you at an intersection, an attorney can file a claim to hold them accountable. 

Kohan Law Group is dedicated to representing victims of personal injury across Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and New York City. Contact our office today for a free consultation.