According to a 2002 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one third of all intersection crashes in the US, and more than 40% of fatal ones, occur at intersections controlled by stop signs. Interestingly, about two-thirds of stop sign violation crashes involve drivers who say they stopped before proceeding. In this case, these drivers are proceeding and failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
In most of these cases, the drivers reported they just didn’t see the other vehicle, or had their views obstructed. This can be a significant problem here in the Pacific Northwest, because our lush environment often results in thick evergreen foliage blocking visibility, or even the wet and foggy weather we have here in the fall and winter months can cause visual impairment.
At other times, drivers who proceed into the line of oncoming traffic after stopping at a stop-signed intersection may be distracted by something going on in their car. It could be as simple as an obstruction caused by a sun visor, a pet, or a windshield crack. Other times, it comes down to a cell phone, passenger, or something in car that could tip over without constant attention. In today’s busy world, it may even simply come down to a mental distraction that comes between you and your safest and most conscientious driving.
With these statistics, Collision Specialists urges all of our friends and customers to take particular care when driving through a stop-signed intersection. It will never hurt to take a second look before proceeding past the stop sign, inch forward to ensure you can adequately see past any environmental obstructions, or simply take minute to deliberately calm your mind (or the activity in your car) before giving yourself clearance to move into or across other lines of traffic.
We also encourage anyone with a cracked windshield to take care of this problem right away. While driving can be done with many types of cracks, you need clear visibility through your entire windshield to ensure you stay 100% safe. These nuisances may seem harmless most of the time, but it only takes once for it to block your line of site. Fixing your windshield may be what saves you from a potential collision that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix.
We hope you take caution to avoid all of these potential driving pitfalls, but if you do have an unfortunate situation happen on the road, Collision Specialists has able and dedicated technicians here to help you with repairing the vehicle damage to get you and your car back on the road in tip-top – totally safe – condition.
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