20 Oct Intersections: “Planned Points of Conflict”
Intersections are simply that, planned points of conflict. Think about it. You want to go straight, the driver behind you wants to turn right and the driver coming toward you wants to turn left, right into the path you want to follow. There are many other factors to be aware of at intersections. Are there any pedestrians present? Bicyclists? What about traffic control devices? Will the other drivers acknowledge those controls?
Statistics show that nearly 50% of the serious accidents today happen at intersections. Use the tips below to help you maneuver safely through those pesky intersections.
Intersection Safety Tips:
- Pay Attention: Pay special attention to your surroundings as you approach the intersection. Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists and other motorists.
- Distractions: Stay alert and avoid distractions.
- Drive defensively: One of the most important things to do at an intersection.
- ALWAYS: Stay in your own lane.
- Green light: Always look both ways before proceeding through an intersection with a green light or when starting from a stopped position at a light that turns green (or a stop sign). Left, right, left.
- Lanes: Take care to finish your turn in the correct lane.
- Red light: Don’t try to beat a red light……you will lose.
- Bumper to Bumper: NO! You should NOT be on the bumper of the vehicle ahead of you, even stopped at an intersection. Always maintain a safe stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead….especially when you are stopped at an intersection. You should be able to see where the tires of the vehicle in front of you meet the road. If you can’t, you are too close.
- Turn Signals: All cars come equipped with turn signals because they are important. It’s the law to use your turn signal to alert other motorists of your intent to make a turn or to change lanes.
- Yellow Light: I’m sure you’ve heard this before……it doesn’t mean “drive it like you stole it”. You should always stop on a yellow light, if you can do so safely.