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Factors that contribute to dangerous roadway intersections

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

States and municipalities must remain proactive when dealing with dangerous intersections. Modifying and repairing perilous roads and intersections remains a priority. Intersection design and safety play critical roles in protecting drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Here are some statistics to ponder. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) notes that more than half of all fatal and injurious crashes in the U.S. occur at or near intersections. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 34% of all motorcyclist deaths took place at intersections in 2019.

Tampa-area trouble spots

The Gulf Coast region of Florida has its share of dangerous intersections, including two that have gotten recent attention for ongoing problems, collisions and fatalities.

East of Tampa, Hillsborough County plans to spend $2.2 million at a convergence of two roads in Valrico. Improvements may help the county shake its tag as being among the country’s most dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. In the past decade, more than 1,800 people died in the county in motor vehicle accidents.

North of Tampa in Pasco County, two people died in March when the driver of an SUV crashed into a construction barrel and struck a sedan traveling in the same direction on U.S. Highway 19. An oncoming car swerved to avoid striking the sedan and collided with the SUV, which rolled over. Killed in the collision were a passenger in the SUV and the driver of the car that crashed into the SUV. Drivers have long complained about the dangers of this intersection, where a reported 10 deadly collisions have recently occurred.

Poor design and negligent drivers

A variety of factors contribute to dangerous intersections and may include:

  • Poor design.
  • Lack of road signs or inappropriate road signs.
  • Non-functioning, malfunctioning and confusing traffic signs.
  • Negligent drivers including those who speed, are distracted or drowsy as well as under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Some of these factors are out of the control of the typical driver. But it is always a good idea to focus on defensive driving.

Understand every potential hazard

Drivers and pedestrians must remain alert regarding the potential dangers at traffic intersections. State and local governments play an obvious role in improving these roadways. However, drivers also must understand the potential hazards caused by negligent and reckless drivers.