Be especially cautious at New York intersections

Have you experienced the fright of stepping into a crosswalk only to have to jump back onto the curb when a car comes barreling past? Those kinds of close calls happen all the time in New York. If you're the one behind the wheel, you're obligated to be on the lookout for nearby pedestrians. Intersections are definitely high-risk areas for collisions.

There are two types of intersections: controlled and uncontrolled. Controlled intersections regulate traffic and pedestrian flow through use of traffic lights, stop signs and other signage. Uncontrolled intersections mean nothing is there to control movement. Both types of crossroads can be tricky to navigate, especially in sections where traffic is congested.

Drivers beware

On a particular day, you might approach an intersection and be the only driver there. Navigating your turn or crossing to the other side is rather uneventful. You stop at the red light, wait for green, check cars or pedestrians, the proceed. At another time, there might be rows of cars two or three deep in each direction, with people crossing back and forth on foot.

Such is a very high risk situation where you must remain alert and cautious at all times. The only problem is that your driving skills and keen observations do not guarantee safety because you have no clue what another driver or pedestrian is going to do at any given moment.

Helpful tips to remember

When you're trying to get through an intersection, it's best to err on the side of safety. Never assume what you think another driver is going to do. In fact, you can't change anyone's actions but you can try to swiftly and safely react to a potentially dangerous situation. When you approach a crossroads, it's best to make sure you're not distracted in any way, either from outside your vehicle or inside.

Unless you can read another driver's speedometer, you have no way of knowing how fast a particular vehicle is moving. Entering an intersection because you think you can "beat" another car is a recipe for disaster. It's better to carefully scan your surroundings, check for obstructions that impede visibility, like parked cars or shrubbery and yield the right of way if you're unsure who is supposed to go next.

If another driver's negligence causes you injury

Intersection collisions often involve multiple vehicles; they also often result in fatal injuries. If you survive the impact of a sudden collision, you might spend the night, several days or longer in the hospital. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you will likely need a strong support network during recovery.

Such incidents usually prompt a need to take time off work. This can spark serious financial crisis. It's not uncommon for accident victims to be completely unprepared to meet the expenses associated with their collisions. Many people are able to alleviate such burdens by seeking financial recovery for their losses in court.

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