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Texas intersections: How to improve safety while driving

If someone were to ask you how many motor vehicle collisions typically occur at intersections, what would you say? If your answer was at least half, then you are correct. In Texas and all other states, approximately 50 percent of collisions occur at crossroads; this amounts to approximately 20 percent of accidents that result in fatalities.  

Intersections often involve multiple traffic lanes, so it is important toward your own safety, as well as the safety of pedestrians and other motorists nearby, that you always make certain you are in the correct lane before approaching a crossing. You may suffer injury if a negligent driver suddenly cuts across a lane. There are several other defensive driving techniques that can lower your risk for an accident.  

You can see them but can they see you? 

If you position your vehicle in the blind spot of another driver, it can lead to disaster. Just because you can see a car near you doesn't necessarily mean the driver of that car can see you. Learning more about blind spots and how to avoid them can improve your safety on the road, especially at intersections.  

Turn signals are there for good reason 

Using turn signals to inform nearby drivers of your intentions is not merely a driving suggestion, it is a driving regulation to which you and all drivers are obligated to adhere. You may have already been in a situation where the driver in front of you fails to signal before turning, perhaps making you feel like you are involved in a guessing game rather than safe road travel. Equally dangerous are situations where drivers signal one direction but turn in the other.  

Distractions at intersections are particularly dangerous 

Taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel while driving always places you at risk for collision. However, if a driver is eating or drinking, grooming himself or herself, adjusting radio knobs, using hand-held electronic devices, or otherwise focusing his or her attention somewhere other than the road ahead, chances of an intersection collision greatly increase. 

When problems arise

If a car is tailgating you or travels toward the rear of your vehicle too fast while approaching an intersection, it may hit you from behind. Additional risks exist if drivers adjacent to or across from you fail to stop at the proper time. You may have a green light, for instance, but if a car to your right blows through a red light, the results may be disastrous. If you suffer injury because a driver was negligent at an intersection, you may need both medical and legal support.  

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