Whether you are a seasoned driver or you’ve just started driving, operating your motor vehicle in a cautious and defensive manner is essential when you’re out on busy New York roadways. Driving hazards come in a multitude of forms these days, and many of them can be found at busy intersections. However, you may pass through intersections on a daily basis without giving it a second thought.
Intersections are places where two or more roadways come together and are designed to help ease traffic situations. However, the various maneuvers, rules and crossing traffic here can create situations that make accidents more likely if you don’t know how to properly traverse an intersection. In fact, nearly half of all car accidents in the United States happen at intersections. This is why it is imperative to know how to safely navigate busy intersections to help prevent accidents from happening.
A safe approach
Navigating a busy intersection starts with an appropriate and safe approach. Before entering an intersection, make sure you are in the correct lane, and always use your turn signals so other drivers know your intent. Inspect the intersection while approaching and look for stop signs, traffic lights, road signs and restrictions. It is also a good idea to become aware of the blind spots of other drivers around you and stay out of them.
Be patient and never tailgate
Never tailgate the vehicle in front of you, or rush a light that is about to change. If you follow a larger vehicle too closely, you won’t be able to see traffic lights or signage in time. It is recommended to keep at least one-car length of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following. Tailgating and rushing the light will reduce the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, making a collision more likely if the front vehicle suddenly stops.
Stay focused and avoid distractions
When you think of distracted driving, you may think of texting while driving. However, anything that takes your attention off of the road can be considered distracted driving, such as the radio or even a conversation with your passenger. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents at intersections. Never drive distracted, always keep your hands on the wheel, stay focused and be prepared to brake suddenly.
One of the best pieces of driving advice when navigating an intersection is to be a defensive driver. Look both ways and take note of the other vehicles around you and their intentions. Many times, foot traffic is also present at intersections, so be on the lookout for pedestrians. Be aware of everyone’s intentions and motivations so you can react defensively.
Help in the aftermath of an accident
Consistently applying the aforementioned advice could help you avoid an accident and keep you and your passengers safe. However, not every driver will be as safe or cautious as they should be. It is very possible you could do everything the right way and still end up in a crash if another driver is negligent. If you are in an accident and suffer injuries due to the negligence of another party, there are options available that could help you recover from an unfortunate accident.