Statistically speaking, intersections are one of the most likely places on the road where a car accident is likely, no matter where you are in the country. San Antonio and Bexar County are home to several notoriously dangerous intersections known for injury accidents and traffic fatalities. According to News 4 San Antonio, the top dangerous intersections in the city include I-35 and Highway 90, West Commerce and Buena Vista near NW 22nd Street, and the junction at Fredricksburg Road and Fresno near Babcock Road.
Intersections outside the city have risks, too. As more people expand into rural areas outside of San Antonio, places like the intersection where Loop 1604 and FM 1346 meet in East Bexar County have become even more dangerous, and the risk is expected to grow with the population.
KSAT News 12 reports that the Texas Department of Transportation is scheduled to renovate the intersection, but the project isn’t due to begin until 2024.
Understanding how and why accidents happen at intersections like these can help you stay safe on the road everywhere, including Bexar County. Here’s what all Texas drivers should know about intersection accidents, including what makes left turns dangerous, what to do if you’re in an accident, and how you can get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Common Causes of Intersection Crashes
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study released in 2010, the event that most frequently leads to an accident at an intersection is a left-hand turn. Left-hand turns are surprisingly complex, and there are many potential points of failure to think about that drivers may take for granted—until an accident happens. Consider that when a driver on a two-way street wishes to make a left turn, he or she must move directly through multiple lanes of traffic. As the driver pulls forward through the intersection, the car must:
- Pull forward to pass through the line of traffic traveling from left to right
- Turn the wheel to the left to pass through traffic flow coming from straight ahead
- Merge into a flow of traffic traveling from right to left
The result is that, unlike a right-hand turn, nearly any driver at the intersection can cause an accident, if he or she does not:
- Obey traffic signals. Blowing through a stop sign or running a red light either while making a left-hand turn or while someone is making a left-hand turn can cause a T-bone accident, or it may cause a lethal head-on impact.
- Obey the speed limit. Speed limits save lives and are designed to allow drivers adequate time to notice any upcoming hazards or traffic signals and take appropriate action. Going above the speed limit can mean being unable to stop in time before an intersection, especially when driving too fast for the weather or road conditions.
- Stay observant. Distracted driving is on the rise, and there are many cases after an accident where one driver claims to simply have “not seen” the other due to texting, talking on the phone, using a navigation system, handling a pet that’s loose in the cabin, or dealing with some other distraction that took his or her eyes from the road.
Left-hand turns are such a liability that transportation companies such as UPS reportedly plan their routes and train their drivers to avoid turning left whenever possible, but there are some locations where it’s unavoidable.
What to Do After an Accident at an Intersection
If you find yourself the victim of an accident at an intersection, the first thing you should do is make sure that you and your passengers are ok. If anyone is hurt, call 911 for help and instructions. Otherwise, try to get yourself to a safe location out of the flow of traffic, but do not leave the scene. You may exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved or the police may help you with that, but you should avoid conversation with the others involved in the accident to ensure your legal rights are protected. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible before you make any decisions or accept any settlement offers from insurers, or you could be leaving money on the table that could cover your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other costs related to the accident.
Get Legal Help Today
If you have been injured in an auto accident in San Antonio, Bexar County, or any other location in Texas, the attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. Our experienced legal professionals are here to represent your legal rights in a court of law, and we would like to help you and your family seek the financial recovery that you deserve after an accident caused by negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your accident situation, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.