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WATCH: Here's why you shouldn't jump a red traffic light in SA

2017-09-13 09:27

Image: Twitter/Arrive Alive

Cape Town - Disregarding traffic lights can lead to dire consequences with crashes at South African road intersections frequently occurring, says Arrive Alive. 

Ignoring red lights

Dashcam footage shows a taxi ignoring a red traffic light before being struck by an oncoming vehicle at an intersection. 

Arrive Alive  thus listed types of intersection crashes, causes of it and tips on what to do when approaching an intersection.

Watch the crash below:

Types of intersection crashes: List by Arrive Alive

We have all experienced the sounds of screeching of tyres followed shortly thereafter by the brutal sound of metal hitting metal, typical of a crash at an intersection.  A number of different intersection crash types occur, including:

• Collisions between oncoming vehicles, particularly when one is turning across traffic Rear-end crashes – often occurring because a following driver is distracted and does not realize the lead driver has stopped.

• Side impact collisions or “T-bones”.  These types of accidents typically involve a driver on one side running a red light, be it intentionally or while trying to make it through an intersection before a yellow light turns red.

• Side-swipe collisions where one or more vehicles are turning.

• Collisions into vulnerable road user such as pedestrians and cyclists while turning.

• Crashes at Level Crossings/ Rail Crossings

Causes of Crashes at Intersections

• We need to ask “Why are there so many collisions taking place at intersections?”

• Studies show that two of the most common reasons for intersection collisions are driver negligence and recklessness.

• Running a red light together with ignoring the yield and stop signs are the most common causes of crashes in city traffic.

• Inattention and inadequate sight distance to incoming traffic when turning left or right.

• Lack of intersection visibility (road users are not aware of the intersection)

• Driver inattentiveness includes not observing other traffic at an intersection while being distracted  by cellular phones, car radios etc.

• Tailgating which includes an attempt to forestall a red light by speeding up and bumping on another vehicle.

• High approach speeds to the intersection.

• Crashing into the sides of long vehicles that are often not visible to approaching drivers. [This may be due to burned-out lamps, missing reflectors or the lack of conspicuity striping.]

• Collisions with pedestrians and other vehicles not visible to approaching trucks or failing to adhere to traffic control devices.

• Poor visibility in dense fog, smoke or mist.

• Lack of safe following distances

• Complex intersection layout

• Poor road surface condition or faulty intersections / traffic lights and signals.

Safe Driving at Intersections

Being aware of the laws and taking precautions behind the wheel are important and useful steps to avoid a crash in an intersection. Plan your trip to avoid rushing to make an appointment. Plan ahead, anticipate potential traffic delays, and leave early for your destinations

We would like to offer some suggestions for safe driving at intersections:

Approaching the Intersection:

• Drive defensively, anticipating problems and situations with heightened caution and attention during congested traffic times such as rush hour.

• Be patient - Impatience increases emotions and decreases attention.

• Think about what other drivers might do as you approach intersections, particularly when you are altering your path approaching an intersection.

• Avoid all driver distractions - all your focus is required when approaching an intersection.

• Always, always wear your seatbelt and insist that everyone in your vehicle wears theirs.

• A passenger not buckled in will become a projectile threatening the safety of other passengers in a collision.

• Do not speed at intersections - a driver driving too fast when approaching a crossing, may not be able to completely stop when necessary.

Click here to read more about road safety at intersections.

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