Intersections create the potential for conflicts between drivers and are a hotspot for car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Statistical analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that roughly of the 5,811,000 crashes that occurred in the United States in 2008, 2,307,000—or around 40 percent—occurred at intersections.
California intersection accident statistics show how dangerous these types of accidents can be. There were 2,520 fatal collisions in the Golden State in 2010, and 490 of them occurred at intersections. This means that almost 1 out of 5 fatal California accidents took place at intersections.
Ninety-six percent of intersection-related crashes, according to the NHTSA, are attributable to drivers. Less than 3 percent of these crashes can be primarily blamed on the vehicle or the environment. In other words, if there is a crash at an intersection, human error is almost always to blame.
Whatever the specific details of your case are, Avrek Law Firm, attorneys will use their experience and knowledge towards crafting a successful legal strategy.
We fight aggressively on behalf of those injured by other drivers’ negligence. Your free case review is only a phone call or a click away.
A Closer Look at Intersection Accidents
Nearly all of the intersection accidents studied by the NHTSA were attributed to drivers. A more detailed breakdown shows which specific driver actions cause interstate accidents:
- Inadequate look out (44.1%)
- False assumption of other’s action (8.4%)
- Turned with obstructed view (7.8%)
- Illegal maneuver (6.8%)
- Internal distraction (5.7%)
- Misjudgment of gap or other’s speed (5.5%)
It’s interesting to note that the reasons for intersection accidents are quite different than the reasons for non-intersection accidents.
For example, the principal causes of non-intersection accidents are aggressive driving (22%), driver performance error (15.9%), and internal distraction (13.4%).
Driver distraction by digital devices, especially smartphones, has come into focus in recent years as a serious roadway hazard. In 2011, 23% of auto collisions involved the use of mobile phones.
California Accidents in Focus
In addition to the 490 fatal California intersection accidents in 2010 there were 47,050 injury accidents at intersections. The vast majority of all intersection accidents, according to data provided by the California Highway Patrol, occur during daylight hours.
It’s not surprising that most of these accidents occur during the time of greatest traffic volume.
What is somewhat surprising, however, is that far more intersection accidents in California occur at intersections with a functioning traffic control device (defined by the Federal Highway Administration as “signs, signals, and pavement markings”) than at intersections without either any type of traffic control device or a non-functioning traffic control device.
Red Light Cameras
One plausible explanation of this trend is that intersection accidents are caused by drivers who disregard traffic signals. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation supports this idea, as 92,000 crashes and 900 deaths each year are caused by motorists who run red lights.
Many cities, in an attempt to curb the dangerous running of red lights, have installed red light cameras (RLCs). These so-called “robo cops” are intended to curb law-breaking and improve safety at intersections by capturing the license plate number of anyone who runs a red light.
Critics, however, say that red light cameras are primarily intended to generate revenue for cities and actually increase intersection accidents.
Over a hundred California cities, including some in Orange and Riverside counties, have installed red light cameras. But in nearby Los Angeles, the city voted to end its red-light camera program amid speculation of whether it helped prevent collisions.
An investigative report by L.A. TV station KCAL revealed in 2009 that among 32 intersections with red light cameras, 20 had increased accidents after the cameras were installed. These findings mirror those by other national and local entities. You can read more about red light camera studies here.
Get Legal Help from an Experienced Intersection Accident Lawyer in Irvine
Under California law you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages that result from an intersection accident even if you are partly to blame for the crash.
Of course, if you did nothing wrong and were struck by another motorist at an intersection, the other driver will be held fully accountable for any losses you suffer, provided their culpability can be proven. It may also be possible to sue a state or local government entity for designing a dangerous intersection or failing to maintain a traffic light.
Avrek Law Firm, attorneys serve the victims of motor vehicle accidents in Irvine, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside County. Call us today at 1.888.333.5009 or fill out this form to receive a free case evaluation.
- The California Highway Patrol: 2013 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes: An On-Scene Perspective
- Orange County Grand Jury: Red Light Cameras: Automated Traffic Cops in Orange County
- National Motorists Association: Red Light Camera Studies