How could Intersections be Safer?

There are many ways to make intersections safe and there is extensive literature on the subject.

Drivers can look left, right, then left again to make sure their right of way is clear. They can also try to slow somewhat before getting close to the intersection thereby minimizing their chance of getting pushed into the intersection by an inattentive follower.

From a design perspective, there are many safer designs for intersections. Left turns are extremely dangerous at intersections* and designs have been available for years that minimize of eliminate the need for left turns at intersections. (Interestingly enough FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was well aware of the danger of left turning at intersections and anyone driving him anywhere was prohibited from making left turns. For an hilarious side read find and read No Left Turns by Joseph L. Schott.

Roundabouts are circular intersections which minimize accidents and left turns. At a Roundabout, incoming traffic yields right of way to cars in the Roundabout.

Much literature suggests the use of roundabouts to public government agencies but tragically many have not acted on the advice.

See, for example, Report 572 of the Transportation Research Board entitled ROUNDABOUTS IN THE UNITED STATES.

Also MODERN ROUNDABOUTS: A SAFER CHOICE

Additionally, Red Light Cameras are often helpful at getting people to reduce speed at intersections and to engage care in not running red lights.

(See Red-Light Cameras/AutoMated Enforcement

If an intersection has a red light camera, its critical for the attorney to promptly preserve and subpoena the photos. If the intersection does not have such a camera, it may be negligence on the municipalities part not to have put one in. Oftentimes, such traffic signals are often not properly calibrated and mislead both streams of traffic. The Traffic Control Devices Handbook has much information on this topic.

The Government may also have been negligent in design of an unsignalized rural intersection since the dangers of such intersections are very well known.

(see NCHRP Report 500 Volume 05 A Guide to Addressing Unsignalized Intersection Collisions)

If you or your family has suffered a serious accident in an intersection, its critical to contact an experienced attorney without delay. I've written an article on how to select an experienced personal injury lawyer.

In Sacramento call 916-921-6400 or elsewhere at 800-404-5400. You may also write me here

Especially Vulnerable Users of Intersections.



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