A Look at Intersection Safety

Posted on June 22, 2012 at 11:19am by

Thousands of Americans die in intersection-related car accidents every year. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, 20.8 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2009 were intersection-related. If you suffered an injury in a New Jersey car accident, or if your loved one died in a fatal accident, an experienced Atlantic City injury attorney can help.

Intersection Crashes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 5,811,000 traffic accidents that occurred in the U.S. during 2008, about 40 percent were intersection-related. Furthermore, the NHTSA reports that in 2009 there were 7,278 intersection-related traffic fatalities, and in 2010 there were 6,758.

In an intersection crash causation study, the NHTSA found that “[o]f the 756,570 intersection-related crashes with driver-attributed critical reasons, the most frequent critical reasons were:”

  • Inadequate surveillance (44.1 percent)
  • False assumption of other’s action (8.4 percent)
  • Turn with obstructed view (7.8 percent)
  • Illegal maneuver (6.8 percent)
  • Internal distraction (5.7 percent)
  • Misjudgment of gap or other’s speed (5.5 percent)

Because such a large percentage of car accidents occur at intersections, many cities and states are taking measures to improve intersection safety.

Improving Intersection Safety

According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 78 percent of Americans believe we should pay more attention to making dangerous intersections safer. Strategies for improving intersection safety include:

  • Split intersections
  • Roundabouts
  • Median barriers
  • Modified T-intersections
  • Pedestrian signals
  • Right turn on red restrictions
  • Larger traffic signals
  • Signals with pedestrian detectors
  • Red-light cameras
  • Better lighting at rural intersections
  • Signs warning drivers of pedestrian crossing

To address intersection safety, New Jersey decided to install red-light cameras. A survey by the National Coalition for Safer Roads found that 77 percent of New Jersey voters support the use of these cameras at busy intersections.

In December 2009, Newark began installing red-light cameras, becoming the first city in the state to implement a safety camera program. According to a Traffic Safety Coalition report released in March 2011, camera-equipped intersections in Newark experienced a 40 percent reduction in red light violations and a 16 percent reduction in crashes between 2009 and 2010. The city now has 19 approved red-light cameras, with two dozen more pending.

Drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians injured in intersection crashes may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Contact a qualified Atlantic City injury lawyer today to learn about your legal rights.

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