Investigating Intersection Accidents

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Investigating Intersection Accidents

On the Scene E-Newsletter, Edition 151, December 14, 2011

car crash_000010641551Everyday we encounter intersections in our lives whether we are driving or as pedestrians. Statistically speaking, it has been stated that 40% of all fatality related accidents happen at or near an intersection. To understand why so many intersection accidents occur one needs to be aware of what an intersection is; most commonly an intersection is thought of as a junction of two or more roads. In fact, anywhere vehicles and pedestrians cross paths can be thought of as an intersection: driveways, parking lots, residential areas, etc. 

Most intersections have some type of controls — either lights or signs –which are used to maintain the orderly flow of traffic through theintersection. If drivers or pedestrians do not heed these controls a collision may occur. For example, running red lights and striking bystandesr has become so common place that the government is now using unmanned camera systems to monitor and ticket offenders. Also, drivers that disregard the flashing red lights and stop signs on school buses strike scores of students every year. 

Intersection accidents comprise a large portion of the case load for experts who perform accident reconstruction. When reconstructing an incident there are many questions that are often asked, including: Who had the right-of-way? What color was the traffic light? How fast were the vehicles going? Could either vehicle have avoided the accident? To answer these questions, the reconstruction expert would analyze the physical evidence: tire marks, signal timing, post impact travel directions and distances, post impact trajectory of pedestrians, and, if available, airbag computer accident data. 

For over two decades, CED engineers and certified accident reconstruction experts have analyzed many intersection accidents. The answers to the relevant questions about the accident are researched, documented and backed by sound scientific and engineering analysis. Please call 800.780.4221.