There is no surprise that intersection safety has the attention of many national, state, and local organizations considering almost 21% of total fatalities in 2009 were intersection-related. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration is pooling their resources, along with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and American Automobile Association (AAA) in hopes of reducing the number of traffic fatalities at intersections.
Injuries and deaths occurring at intersections are serious cause for concern when it comes to North Carolina car accidents.
Our personal injury attorneys in Greensboro and Charlotte know that not much progress has been made over the last 25 years, despite improved safety measures and change in intersection designs. FHWA admits that intersections remain the most multifaceted and most dangerous traffic encounters due to the fact that motorists and pedestrians are crossing and entering from all different locations.
Drivers often speed through intersections when a light turns yellow. In 2009, the NHTSA reported over 4,500 fatal crashes at intersections with traffic control devices such as stop signs or traffic signals. North Carolina reported 75 fatal crashes at intersections with traffic signals and another 85 fatal crashes at intersections with stop signs.
One solution to red light runners is the installation of red light cameras at intersections. Violators going through yellow lights have a snapshot taken of their license plate and are later ticketed for failure to stop. Most North Carolina cities have done away with the cameras. The Charlotte Observer reported last Spring that city officials would like to implement the program again but are torn, knowing that a good percentage of the revenue obtained from tickets would go to Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and not to maintaining the cameras sufficiently. Annual cost to the city to operate approximately 20 red light cameras is approximately $1.2 million.
In order to reduce the risk of a serious or fatal accident at an intersection, motorists should use the following safety tips:
-Make sure there are no pedestrians or bicycles trying to cross the intersection before proceeding through.
-Always prepare to stop despite what you think the driver in front of you is doing.
-When approaching a stop sign, make a full stop rather than slow and slide through the stop sign.
-Oncoming traffic has the right away when making a left turn. Always yield until they have safely passed your vehicle.
-If a traffic signal has a direction area for turning, only proceed through intersection on a green arrow.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact our personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, Greensboro or Asheville for legal advice. Call the Law Offices of Lee & Smith for a free and confidential appointment at 1-800-887-1965.