Some sections of roadway are inherently more dangerous than others, such as intersections. When you come to a four-way crossroad, it might be secured or unsecured. If secured, it will have either stop signs or traffic lights or other signage to govern the traffic flow. If unsecured, you’re basically on your own and even more at risk for collision. Intersection safety tips are helpful because a large percentage of collision-related fatalities happen in such areas.
Right-of-way is a key factor in intersection safety tips
It’s unnerving to approach an intersection marked by stop signs simultaneously with three other vehicles, especially if it’s unclear who arrived first. Yielding the right-of-way is an important safety tool. Unfortunately, reckless drivers and those who are aggressive with road rage don’t always follow the rules of the road. The driver who arrives at an intersection stop sign first is supposed to proceed first. However, when vehicles come to a stop simultaneously, each driver is supposed to yield to the vehicle on his or her right.
A vehicle that is proceeding in a straight path through an intersection has the right-of-way over one that is turning. If more than one vehicle is turning, then right turns have the right-of-way over left turns.
If you’re unsure who has the right-of-way, it’s always safest to yield. What if you have the right-of-way but the other driver isn’t yielding? It is best to yield rather than try to maneuver your vehicle in a battle for control of the crossroads. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Intersection safety tips regarding stationary objects
Visibility is a key safety component at an intersection. Remember that objects such as lamp posts, trees, parked cars, garbage receptacles or other stationary items can significantly impede visibility. A stationary object might be positioned in such a way that it completely blocks your view of an entire vehicle or pedestrian! Always pause and make sure you can clearly see whether anyone is approaching before proceeding.
Go slow when navigating a turn
Many fatal collisions occur at intersections when one car is turning and another driver blows through a red light or stop sign. When turning at a crossroads, it’s always best to proceed at no greater speed than five or 10 miles per hour. This might give you enough time to safely apply your brakes if you notice that another driver isn’t stopping when he or she should be.
Green light means go, but you should pause first
One of the most valuable intersection safety tips is to pause for a moment when you’re sitting at a red light and the light turns green. Use the time to carefully scan your surroundings, checking for moving vehicles or pedestrians who may be stepping into your path. Only after you’re certain that there are no obstructions in your path should you proceed through the intersection.
Don’t try to beat a yellow light
How many times have you witnessed a driver suddenly accelerate to try to cross through an intersection on a yellow light? A yellow light is warning you to be cautious and to slow down because a red light is soon to follow. If you cross an intersection on a yellow light and see the light turn red, you’ve gone through a red light not a yellow light! While you’re legally permitted to proceed through a yellow light, it’s much safer to slow down and prepare to stop. This is especially true if the light was already yellow when you approached.
Intersection safety tips aren’t just for newly licensed, inexperienced drivers. Veteran drivers, as well, are wise to periodically review such tips to brush up on their driving skills. It’s easy to become lax, as though you’re driving on automatic pilot, when you’re on the road a lot. Remember than an extra measure of caution on your part might be exactly what’s needed to avert a collision. You can find additional driver safety tips, here.