Intersection Crashes — Exploring Pennsylvania Car Accident Trends

A comprehensive study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found about 40 percent of car accidents which occurred in the United States in 2008 took place at an intersection. The causes of these accidents are many and varied, and the results of intersection crashes can range from minor injuries to fatalities.

Some common reasons for an intersection crash are (1) an illegal maneuver, (2) inattention, and (3) misjudgment.

Illegal Maneuver: These are often crashes in which a driver deliberately broke the law, often running a red light or driving through a stop sign. The National Safety Council estimates about 2,175 fatal crashes related to red light running violations in 2008.

Inattention: A driver is simply not focused on the road at the time he or she approaches the intersection, often missing the red light or stop sign.

Misjudgment: With a misjudgment, a driver could have made a number of mistakes. For one, he or she may have anticipated a longer yellow light.

Aside from rear-end collisions, one of the most common car accidents to take place at an intersection is known as an angle crash, or a right-angle crash.

Right Angle Crashes — What Are They?

An angle crash — or a right-angle crash — is a car accident in which one vehicle strikes the side of another. These accidents most often occur at four-way intersections, with one car striking the other at a right angle.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that the year 2010 saw 32,090 car accident classified as “angle crashes.” These crashes account for about 26 percent of all car accidents that year and resulted in 263 deaths. Furthermore, angle crashes were responsible for the highest percent of two-car collisions in 2010.

 Ways to Prevent an Intersection Crash in Pennsylvania 

It may seem simple but one of the best ways to prevent an intersection crash is to drive safely and obey the rules of the road. However, some specific advice on avoiding an intersection crash would include:

  • Always come to a complete stop at a Stop sign. Take this time to check for oncoming automobiles.

  • When your light turns green, check the perpendicular roadway for drivers who were trying to speed through their yellow light. Some end up running the first seconds of a red light and, as a consequence, causing a right-angle collision.

  • Always use a signal when you plan on making a turn.

And, finally, remember that cars are not the only problem at an intersection. Many pedestrian accidents occur at intersections and are caused by either a driver or a pedestrian not properly checking the area before passing through. The same is also true for bicycles and motorcycles, the riders of which must be particularly careful as they are more exposed in the event of an accident.

To read more about common car accidents involving bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, or pedestrians, refer to the blog category page of the Carpey Law website. On this page, one can find such as articles as:

And check out Stuart A. Carpey’s book The 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Pennsylvania Accident Case, which can be ordered free of charge from the Carpey Law website. See the column on the left to find the link that and more books written by Stuart A. Carpey.