Our Chicago accident lawyers read an article on BusinessWeek.com discussing the issue of accidents at intersections. The report noted that close to two fifths of all traffic-related accidents occur at intersections, and drivers are three times more likely to be involved in accidents at intersections with flashing lights instead of stop signs. Researchers are trying to determine if it is the lights causing confusion that are inducing the accidents, or if it is related to how dangerous the intersections are. Also, the study showed that motorists who are exiting off of highways are also more likely to be involved in a car accident, which could be speed related or merge related.
The researchers are working to further understand what causes accidents at intersections in order to decide what preventative measures should be taken. The site also reports that, “A key finding of the study is that intersection accidents are affected by the larger traffic network around them, and that fixing a dangerous intersection will reduce accidents on neighboring streets.” Street and intersection safety depends on the safety of nearby streets and intersections. The study concluded by saying that intersections that have traffic lights are proven to be the safest.
Our Illinois auto accident lawyers remind readers that the Illinois Rules of the Road cautions drivers to go slowly when approaching and driving through intersections because there could be pedestrians nearby, other traffic, or weather and road conditions. Also, drivers should always come to a complete stop at an intersection, regardless of if it is a flashing light, a stop sign, or a stop light. When at a four-way intersection with stop signs or red flashing lights, the first driver who stopped should be the first to go. However, if two motorists stop at the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right should go first. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way when drivers are making a turn at any intersection, and also when the driver has made a complete stop at an intersection.
Also, we wanted to point out that in Illinois, there are four warning signs when intersections are ahead. All of them are yellow diamonds, and inside the first one is a cross which is representative of a cross road ahead. The next sign looks like a sideways T, which means that there is a side road intersection. The third sign is an upright T, which is appropriately representative of T intersection, and finally, there is the Y intersection, which is appropriately representative of three roads that form a Y. To clear up any confusion about flashing lights, when there is a flashing red light, it means stop and yield the right-of-way to traffic that is inside the intersection and then proceed when the intersection is clear. A flashing yellow light means that drivers can proceed, but should do so cautiously.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys hope that our readers will be alert and cautious when driving through intersections. Being alert of pedestrians nearby, and aware of what type of light or crossing sign you are approaching can help to avoid accidents. Because intersection accidents are so common and can even be fatal, we hope that drivers will pay special attention when at these types of intersections.