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Assessing how driver error contributes to intersection collisions

Negligence, recklessness and distractions are often cited as the cause of a crash. While car accidents in Montana occur for various reasons, at different locations on the roadway and on all types of roads, intersection collisions often occur when one or more drivers were not properly paying attention or were negligent behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study in order to better understand the crash factors of intersection-related crashes. In other words, the study focused on the conditions at the time of the collisions to assess whether the actions of the driver or environmental factors play a major role in these types of accidents.

According to the study, the most common reason for an intersection-related crash is due to turning when the driver's view is obstructed. Whether it is a parked vehicle, tree, building, sign, other objects or even a curve in the road, an obstructed view makes it difficult to determine if another vehicle is approaching the intersection. Therefore, if drivers go through an intersection when their view is obstructed, they could collide with another automobile they we not able to timely see due to the obstructed view.

The second most common cause for intersection collisions is inadequate surveillance. This means that the driver did not properly look both ways before entering or turning at an intersection. This is followed by illegal maneuvers, false assumption of other's actions and the misjudgment of gaps or speed of other vehicles. These are all considered driver errors that contribute to the cause of an intersection crash.

Following an intersection collision, victims in the accident should take the necessary steps to determine cause and assign fault. If a negligent driver was at fault, that driver could be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by the crash. Injured victims could hold them responsible through a personal injury claim, which could help them recover compensation to cover expenses and damages related to the accident.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes: An On-Scene Perspective," Accessed Oct. 4, 2015

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