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Be especially cautious at California intersections

In your typical course of travel throughout California, you no doubt approach intersections often, perhaps, numerous times in one day. There are various types of crossroads, some secured and others not. Understanding the difference between them and periodically reviewing safety tips for navigating such sections of roadways can help improve your travel safety and lower your risk for collision.

The problem is that no matter how alert and cautious you happen to be behind the wheel, you can't predict what another driver's next move might be at any given moment. Unexpected turns of events can not only make your road trip stressful but can also lead to sudden collision, which can have disastrous results.

Keep these things in mind

Just because you can see another vehicle doesn't necessarily mean the driver of that vehicle can see you. When approaching an intersection, it's important to make sure you're in the proper lane and that you are visible (not in a blind spot) of all nearby motorists.

Even if you're in a left or right turn only lane, it's always best to use your turn signal to alert others of your intentions. Also, just because you have a green light doesn't mean it's safe to proceed. Many fatal intersection collisions happen when a driver heading in a cross direction fails to stop at a red light and hits another vehicle navigating a turn on a green light.

Avoid intersection distractions

Distracted driving is a determining cause in many fatal California collisions. When you are approaching an intersection, it's especially important to pay close attention to what's happening all around you. If you're glancing down at a radio knob or GPS device, you might not notice that the vehicle in front of you has come to a full stop.

It's safest to approach and proceed through intersections at slower speeds. You lower the risk for collision if you do your best to match the traffic patterns around you as you come to a crossroad.

Secured versus non-secured

If you approach an intersection that is marked with stop signs or traffic lights, it is a secured crossroads. However, in many rural areas, you may come to a fork or 4-way cross in the road without there being any signage or lights to govern your travel.

If, at any time, you're not certain if you have a right of way or if it's safe to proceed, it's better to keep your vehicle idle. There's no harm in letting someone else go first, but there may be danger if you proceed and another driver ignores the standard right-of-way procedures.

Injury at an intersection

If you're struck by another vehicle at an intersection, you're likely to suffer severe injuries. The highest priority is to seek medical attention, especially if the initial force of impact jarred your neck or caused you to hit your head on the steering wheel or window.

Surviving an intersection collision might mean you're in for a long, arduous recovery. There may not only be physical injuries but emotional and financial repercussions as well. Building a strong support network that includes an experienced medical team, close friends or loved ones, and legal support increases your ability to achieve as full a recovery as possible.

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San Diego, CA 92101

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