Intersection crashes account for 30 percent of all collisions and 40 percent of urban accidents.
Intersections require you to use your visual senses and skills to the maximum. Your ability to be far-sighted and to take in the whole picture is very important as you approach intersections. What is meant by the term far-sighted? Look ahead of the situation – in the city look at least a block ahead and in the country or on the highway look at least a mile ahead or to the next curve or hill.
When you are driving do not just stare straight ahead, take in the whole picture. This requires you to look at cars along the street, alleyways and cross streets. At the same time, utilize your mirrors to determine what is happening behind your vehicle. This requires you to move your head as well as your eyes.
Though your visual sense is of primary importance, do not forget your hearing sense. As you near intersections, you should listen for emergency vehicles or other motorists attempting to communicate with you by the use of their horn.
DO NOT ASSUME A GREEN LIGHT MEANS IT IS SAFE TO PROCEED THROUGH AN INTERSECTION!
If you are the first or second vehicle stopped for a red light, remember you are at risk when starting up when the light turns green. You are the vehicle most likely to be struck entering the intersection should a vehicle run the red light.
Therefore it is necessary for your to look left, then right, then left again to make certain the way is clear for your to enter and go through the intersection. If other vehicles obstruct your vision, let them proceed, holding your position momentarily, so you can see for yourself that cross traffic is stopped.
As you approach any intersection, you must adjust your speed to the point where you can stop within an area you can see clearly, free of obstructions. If your speed is such that you will not be able to stop in time should a vehicle enter your path, you must be defensive, SLOW DOWN, and be prepared to stop.
TAKE ACTION – If you have Restricted Sight:
- INCREASE YOUR SPACE CUSHION
- REDUCE YOUR SPEED
- BE PREPARED TO STOP