When driving, it is difficult to quickly assess the comparative danger level of various roads and intersections. Though a person may recognize an awkwardly situated stop sign or oddly designed one-way roads, determining whether or not any given traffic area is more dangerous than others is challenging while behind the wheel. Because of this, it is important for proper safety protocol to be followed at all times when driving, because other drivers are often not paying attention to their surroundings.
There are a variety of factors than can increase the accident risk at an intersection, including:
- The use of one-way streets
- Higher numbers of lanes of traffic causing potential confusion, particularly when making turns
- Poorly placed or difficult to see signage indicating traffic directions
- Improperly timed stoplights
City planners, mayors, and city councils are in a much better position to make these determinations, as they have access to civil engineering reports and traffic and accident data to indicate which intersections are experiencing a higher than normal incidence of accidents. Using this information, cities can redesign particularly dangerous intersections to lessen future accident occurrences.
Unfortunately, even with excellent data to support the fact that some intersections are more dangerous than others, little is often done until a sufficiently disastrous crash occurs. Only when enough people have been injured or killed, or when enough petitions pile up at city hall, are changes made to address unsafe conditions.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a traffic accident at an unsafe intersection, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney. Determining fault in these situations can be more difficult than in other traffic accidents, and drawing on expert testimony to analyze the ways in which the design of the road may have increased the risk of accident can be an important step in proving your case.