Intersections, the areas where two roads meet and cross one another, are typically more dangerous than the roads themselves. It has been estimated that as much as 25% of traffic accidents occur at intersections. Everyone approaching an intersection must be aware of everyone else, including motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
It’s next to impossible to never approach an intersection while driving, so it’s best to know how to navigate them safely. Always be sure to follow local traffic signs and laws, but here are a few tips.
- Be aware of your surroundings! The intersection is not the time to check your texts or make a call. Keep your eyes on the road even when you are stopped.
- Always come to a full and complete stop at stop signs. Do not roll through.
- Don't speed up through a yellow light to avoid having to stop at a red. If you misjudge the timing, you could find yourself clipped by oncoming traffic.
- Even if you have the right-of-way, you need to be prepared to stop if someone doesn’t yield to you. Never assume that another driver will see you or will yield appropriately. Avoid distractions so you can react quickly.
- Always use your turn signals. Giving other drivers a clue as to where you’re headed will help them navigate.
- If you’re stopped at a stop sign, always check twice before proceeding. Be sure to look in all directions, regardless of right-of-way, the color of the traffic light, or whether the stop sign is two-way or four-way.
- Don’t tailgate. If the person ahead of you plans to proceed through an intersection but then must stop short due to unexpected traffic, you may not have enough time to stop.
- Always leave extra room and slow down when driving in snow, ice, sleet, or rain.
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists who may be in crosswalks or your blind spots.
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