Statistics won’t necessarily keep you safe, but they can provide you with crucial information when you have to make big decisions. From looking at the safety ratings of vehicles that you want to buy to investing in certain kinds of insurance based on the percentage of uninsured drivers in the state, there are many ways that statistics can help you be safer out on the road.
When you look at collisions, the data provided from a long-term review of those crashes could actually help you avoid getting into one. Certain choices and driving habits will increase your risk, while other choices can help you reduce your chances of a wreck.
When it comes to collisions at intersections on surface roads, there is one cause that dwarfs all others and that you can potentially adjust for as you drive.
What is the leading cause of intersection collisions?
According to a review of the details of more than three-quarters of a million crashes, 44% of intersection collisions occur because of inadequate surveillance. The other common causes include wrongly assuming what another driver would do, turning without a clear view, completing an illegal maneuver, misjudging spacing or speed and becoming internally distracted.
The simple mistake of failing to look closely at road conditions before proceeding through the intersection accounts for nearly half of all crashes that occur at intersections. Making mistakes about what other people intend to do or where their vehicles will be contributes substantially to crash risk as well.
The simplest way that you can protect yourself from such collisions is to actively monitor the conditions before proceeding through the intersection. Choosing to wait and wave another driver through the intersection if you are unclear about their intentions could be the difference between having an uneventful day and getting into a major crash caused by someone who didn’t use their turn signal.
Employ a defense attitude at intersections
Defensive driving techniques typically require that you view everyone else on the road as a source of risk. This strategy is particularly useful at intersections, where people who don’t come to full stops and who don’t check their surroundings create significant risk for everyone else.
Learning more about what causes motor vehicle crashes can help you avoid causing a wreck and hold someone else accountable if they do.