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Safety & Accident

Safety Tip: Driving Through Intersections

September 04, 2017

Photo by Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons.

Many traffic collisions at intersections could be avoided if drivers were simply more cautious as they approach. Here’s advice from the state of Michigan on how to safely navigate an intersection:

  • As you approach an intersection, check for oncoming and cross traffic, other highway users, signals, signs and pavement markings, the condition of the roadway and areas of limited visibility.
  • Be alert for motorists and pedestrians who may disregard a traffic signal or other traffic control device and proceed through the intersection without stopping or yielding the right-of-way. Anytime you’re not sure what other drivers are going to do, be safe and let them go first.
  • Keep alert and look twice for smaller vehicles approaching an intersection, such as motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds. Because of their size, you may have difficulty judging their speed and distance. Protect these riders by being courteous and allowing them to clear the intersection safely.
  • Be especially cautious if you cannot see the road or traffic clearly at an intersection because of trees, buildings, piles of snow or other obstructions. When turning, edge forward slowly until you can see past whatever is blocking your view. Once the intersection is clear or traffic signals indicate you may proceed, continue driving with care.
  • When entering an intersection at sunrise or sunset, use extra care since other drivers may have difficulty seeing you.
  • If you have entered an intersection when the signal light changes, complete your turn as soon as traffic clears. Do not try to back up in an effort to avoid blocking the intersection.
  • Be alert for “hidden vehicles” when crossing multiple lanes. Traffic may be hidden by larger vehicles traveling in the same direction.

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