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INTERSECTION SAFETY

SAFTEY FIRST / Post date:
1 March 2013

Engineers call intersections a planned point of conflict as a result of multiple vehicles entering, exiting, turning or going straight in a relatively small section of roadway. Traffic control devices are designed to manage the safe flow of traffic at intersections; however, half of all crashes in cities and one-third of crashes in rural areas occur at intersections.


According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) there were 33,808 fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2009. Of that number, 7,043 or 21% of them occurred at intersections.


The majority of intersection crashes occur due to driver error. The critical reasons cited by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) include inadequate surveillance, false assumption of other’s actions, turned with an obstructed view, illegal maneuver, internal distraction and misjudgment of gap or speed.


Red-light running is a serious intersection safety issue. According to the NHTSA, accidents caused by red-light running caused 762 deaths in 2008 and injures an estimated 165,000 people annually.

 


Did you know?

  • Someone runs a red light an average of every 20 minutes at urban intersections
  • In the last decade, red-light running crashes killed nearly 9,000 people
  • Half of the people killed in red-light runner accidents are NOT the traffic signal violators – they are the other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists hit by the red-light runners
  • 93% of drivers believe running a red light is unacceptable, yet 1 in 3 drivers reported doing so in the last 30 days
  • A report found that 15% of rear-end truck crashes were intersection-related.

 

Tips to prevent intersection accidents

  • Green for you doesn’t mean vehicles coming from another direction are stopping; even though you may have the green light, be sure to look both ways before entering an intersection and be alert for red-light runners
  • Don’t speed through a yellow light – always stop for a yellow light if you can do so safely
  • Always use your turn signal when turning – your turn signals alert both oncoming traffic and vehicles behind you of your intention to turn
  • Due to their length and slow acceleration, larger trucks take longer to clear an intersection versus autos

 

Crossing uncontrolled intersections at night with large vehicles is especially hazardous because approaching drivers may see your headlights, but they may not realize you have a long trailer in tow