Astonishing Statistics about the Danger of Intersections
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Wed Mar 2017
Maybe you won’t find it so astonishing. Obviously, just about everyone knows the danger of intersections. But, how bad is it? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), forty percent of all motor vehicle accidents occur in an intersection. Apparently, an even higher number of car crashes are rear-end hits.
The statistics from the NHTSA are national numbers. But, what about here in New Jersey? A 2015 report from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) breaks down the number of accidents at intersections controlled by traffic signals. In 2015, there were almost 6,600 crashes of this type throughout various municipalities in New Jersey. Seven of these intersections resulted in fatalities.
Breaking Down the Danger of Intersections
It’s somewhat intuitive to figure out how drivers can be vulnerable to intersection crashes. However, let’s review the statistics to document our impressions. We’ll compare prior years from the DOT reports to analyze the data. Keep in mind that the focus of this article is entirely on motor vehicle crashes at intersections. Our analysis is based on documentation from 2012-2015.
What exactly is an angle accident? You may hear referred to by a variety of terms. Someone may say their vehicle was broadsided. Emergency personnel generally refer to these incidents as T-bone accidents. Others just call them side-impact collisions.
Right angle accidents occur when one car crashes into another and makes contact with the other’s passenger side. The collision can involve a front hit or someone backing into the second car or truck. The two vehicles seem to form a right angle or a capital “T.”
Unfortunately, broadside accidents often produce the most severe injuries. They are often related to excessive speed or someone trying to beat a light. It’s not uncommon for a driver to run a stop sign and cause a T-bone accident. Injuries from this type of accident are often the worst and can result in death.
In New Jersey, angle accidents were the most common intersection collisions. However, the statistics show that year over year, rear end hits at controlled intersections were a close second.
Rear-end hits accounted for between 26% and almost 28% of all accidents at roadways controlled by traffic signals. But, why exactly? How does this happen if drivers are paying attention?
The problem may be on the last statement. A motor vehicle operator may be texting or talking on the phone and not notice that the car in front has stopped. There’s also the possibility that someone is driving while under the influence.
We’ve also all been behind that driver who could have made it through the light and decided against it. We may have even been the motor vehicle operator who decided to take the extra precaution.
Of course, there’s also the issue of right turns on red. Where it’s permissible, there may be an expectation that the driver will take the opportunity. Or, follow a turn arrow that allows the turn against the light. If that doesn’t happen, there is a potential that a car can be struck from the rear.
Other Types of Intersection Accidents
T-bone accidents and rear-end hits account for a vast majority of intersection accidents. However, parked cars have some significance. Pedestrian traffic is another consideration, as well as a driver’s attempts to avoid striking an animal. Objects in the roadway present a danger in intersections.
Were you injured in a motor vehicle accident and believe it was someone else’s fault? The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has decades of experience handling personal injury claims. There is no cost for our representation unless we are able to achieve recovery. Find out how we can help by contacting our office for an appointment.