Where’s the most dangerous place you drive every day? You may think of the Interstate where you speed at 80 mph from exit to exit, or maybe you think of that narrow two lane winding road with blind curves that gets you to the main highway on your morning commute. No doubt those locales have their dangers, but one of the most dangerous places on the road is every intersection you pass through. While you may pass through intersections without even thinking about it, they are often the sites of crashes. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines an intersection as a “planned point of conflict in the roadway system.” The statistics collected by federal agencies like the FHWA and non-profits like the National Safety Council prove just how treacherous intersections are:
- Almost 43% of all accidents occur in intersections.
- In 2009, 20% of all fatal auto accidents occurred in intersections.
- Also in 2009, over 2.2 million crashes happened just in intersections with traffic lights, which are supposed to provide a measure of safety and control in intersections.
- Almost 50% of all urban accidents occur in intersections.
Oregon has its share of dangerous intersections. In early October, a 60 year old motorcyclist was killed at an intersection in Hillsboro by a truck turning left on a blinking caution light. An intersection on Oregon 211 near Mollala has seen repeated coverage in The Oregonian for its fatal crashes in 2005, 2009, and 2011 and numerous injury crashes. Causes for crashes in intersections vary widely: distracted driving, failure to yield right of way, changing lanes in the intersection, and disregard for traffic control signals.
Intersections are dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists as well, and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has acted to place better safety signals at these intersections, such as one on the Tualatin Valley Highway, where many auto and pedestrian accidents have happened. The deaths of bicyclists at Portland intersections has led to the placement of green “bike boxes,” where bikes can stop to be more visible. Still, accidents occur, like the crash that killed bicyclist Kathryn Rickson in Portland this May.
If you have been involved in a crash in an intersection and injured, or if you’ve lost a loved one in an intersection auto accident, you can get help from a personal injury attorney in making sure you get full compensation from your or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Dwyer Williams Dretke has experience settling and litigating all kinds of auto accident cases all over the state, including intersection auto accidents. Whether you were in an auto accident, a bicycle accident, or a pedestrian accident, we can help settle your case successfully. One of our expert injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your case with you. Call us now: 541-617-0555