Every mile someone travels in a motor vehicle slightly increases their chances of a collision, and the behavior or decisions of drivers can have a profound impact on their chance of getting hurt. Making personal choices to stay safe on the road requires that someone has an understanding of the risk factors that contribute to the likelihood of a crash.
There are certain times of day and also certain days of the year when collisions are more likely to occur. There are also some locations that have more risk for motorists than others. Intersections are where quite a few collisions occur.
When looking at an analysis of crashes reported at busy intersections, one specific traffic maneuver stands out as a common factor.
Turning left exposes a driver
It takes longer to turn left than it does to turn right or proceed directly through an intersection. Someone will also need to cross all lanes of traffic approaching the intersection to complete their turn. That exposure is one of the reasons why left-hand turns are so dangerous.
Researchers have found that over 60% of the crashes that occur at intersections involve at least one vehicle turning left. While drivers likely cannot forego making left-hand turns at all times, they may need to be more careful about when they turn left and also seek to review their surroundings more carefully before turning left. During times of heavy traffic or increased collision risk, motorists may benefit from changing their route to avoid turning left on busy streets.
Learning more about the top reported causes of car crashes me help someone improve their safety on the road.