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How are intersections made safer for motorists?

An inattentive driver could make for a very dangerous experience on the roadway. If a motorist is not properly paying attention, the person may travel through an intersection without stopping or yielded at a posted sign or signal. Running a red light or traveling through a stop sign could be the cause of a serious and even fatal collision, causing many to question what could be done to reduce dangerous intersections in Pennsylvania and other states across the nation.

How are intersections made safer for motorists? When engineers are designing intersection, they consider the intentional and unintentional factors that could cause drivers to run a red light. Moreover, if an already constructed intersection is deemed dangerous, countermeasures could be taken to improve the safety of the intersection in question.

When action is sought to reduce the chances of motorists running a red light, four major actions could be taken. First, steps could be taken to ensure that the traffic signal, specifically the red signal on the light, is visible a sufficient distance from the intersection. Next, changes should be made to increase the likelihood of stopping for a red light once a motorist sees it.

Third, engineers should consider intentional traffic violations at an intersection and address them by posting additional signs. For example, posting a no right on red sign could reduce unsignaled turns at the light or address incidents where a motorist fails to completely stop at a light before making a turn at the signal. Lastly, engineers could attempt to eliminate the need to stop at an intersection if at all possible.

While any of these steps could make for a safer intersection and reduce fatal accidents caused by a motorist running a red light, these types of accident unfortunately still occur. Moreover, such collisions could greatly impact those involved in the collision as well as their loved ones.

If a loved one is lost in a fatal automobile collision, family members should note their rights and options with regards to civil actions following the accident. A wrongful death claim could help loved ones of the deceased recover compensation. The monetary award could be used to cover expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs, loss of companionship, lost wages and other related damages.

Source: Safety.fhwa.dot.gov, "Making Intersections Safer: A Toolbox of Engineering Countermeasures to Reduce Red-Light Running," accessed August 3, 2015

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