Florida often ranks among the most dangerous states to drive in the U.S., with South Florida being especially hazardous.
In Broward and Miami-Dade counties alone, there were more than 105,000 accidents just in 2018, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Tragically, more than 500 people died in those accidents. Victims were motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. As such, it is essential to take precautions, particularly in areas like intersections.
Areas where two or more roads come together are common sites for collisions. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can miss traffic signs, get confused or simply make a bad decision. And when an intersection also has poor signage or traffic management systems, mistakes can be particularly deadly.
Because of how much can be happening and the number of people at these junctions, it is crucial for everyone to be careful as they approach any Florida intersection.
How to navigate intersections safely
Perhaps the most important step anyone can take to stay safe at an intersection is to be defensive. Slow down and do not make any assumptions about what other people will or will not do. Even if you have a green light, take a second to make sure the road is clear.
If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, pay close attention to the traffic signs. Stay in designated areas and, if possible, make eye contact with drivers before entering the roadway in front of them.
Whether you are on a bike or foot or behind the wheel, be especially alert at intersections. Put your phones down and take out your headphones. Scan your surroundings and be aware of any potentially unsafe parties.
What to do after a crash
If an accident does occur at an intersection, those involved should try to get out of harm’s way, if possible. Drivers should pull over; injured pedestrians and cyclists should get help to get to a sidewalk, if
Further, calling the police may be critical for everyone, not just crash victims. Police can ensure parties get help and file a report; they can also handle any traffic disruptions or detours that stem from the initial crash.
Considering how dangerous crashes can be at intersections, taking precautions to avoid them can keep everyone safer.