Ohio motorists who believe they are in most danger while driving at high speed on the state's highways would be mistaken. According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers are at greatest risk of suffering serious personal injury in car accidents at intersections.
Statistics from the FHWA indicate that more than 2.8 million accidents at intersections are reported annually in the United States. These amount to over 44 percent of all reported accidents. Out of the nation's 33,808 traffic fatalities in 2009, 20.8 percent of them, a total of 7,043, occurred in accidents at intersections.
The Danger of Intersections
Driving at intersections is complex, with the potential to interact with traffic from several directions and the presence of pedestrians crossing the streets. With motor vehicles and pedestrians crossing in front of one another, a poor choice by just one driver who fails to yield right of way can lead to disaster.
A major source of danger at intersections is drivers running red lights. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that nearly 2,000 people a year are injured and over 900 people are killed because of vehicles that run red lights. About half of those fatalities are either pedestrians struck by the vehicle that failed to observe the signal, or people in other cars that are struck by the offending vehicle.
Drivers asked about their reasons for failing to stop at a red light most commonly say they were in a hurry, according to the FHWA. The FHWA reports that 55.8 percent of drivers admit that they have run red lights. Justifiably, 96 percent of drivers acknowledge that they are afraid of being hit by someone who runs a red light at an intersection.
Traffic accidents take a heavy toll on the nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which keeps exhaustive records of accidents, says that, in one year, 6,328,000 crashes were reported to law enforcement authorities, including 1,925,000 involving only injuries and 4,365,000 resulting in only property damage. However, the NHTSA estimates that at least 10 million accidents a year are never reported.
No one wants to suffer the sometimes tragic consequences of being in a car accident. However, in the event that you are involved in a traffic accident due to someone else's negligence, there may be an opportunity to recover money for your losses. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney after an accident is a wise course of action. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to obtain compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering, along with medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident.