Car accidents at intersections make up about four out of every 10 car crashes in the United States, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study. Nearly all intersection accidents are caused by driver error.
As numerous drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and/or bicyclists attempt to pass through an intersection, turn left or right, and stay alert for changing traffic lights, one reckless maneuver or mistake can lead to a crash.
As car accident lawyers, we at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC see firsthand the injuries and other damage done by negligent drivers at intersections in the Indianapolis area every day. Some of the car accident cases we have seen involved crashes at Indianapolis intersections known as the most dangerous in the city.
Top Intersections for Collisions in Indiana
The Indiana University Public Policy Institute in its County Profiles 2016 listed the top intersections by collision count over the course of the year in Marion County as:
- 21st Street & Shadeland — 31 collisions
- Madison & Stop 11 Road — 25 collisions
- 38th & Franklin Road — 24 collisions
- 86th & Keystone Avenue — 24 collisions
- 38th & High School Road — 23 collisions
- Emerson & Stop 11 Road — 23 collisions.
25 Most Dangerous Intersections in Indianapolis
Last fall, the Indianapolis Star published a list of the top 25 intersections in Marion County for crashes during the prior five holiday seasons (November 20 to January 1). Many are near shopping malls:
- 86th & Keystone — 50 collisions
- 82nd & Allisonville — 48 collisions
- Madison & Stop 11 — 43 collisions
- Keystone & Fall Creek — 37 collisions
- 38th & High School — 29 collisions
- Allisonville & 86th — 27 collisions
- 56th & Georgetown — 27 collisions
- Rockville & Girls School — 26 collisions
- Michigan & 86th — 26 collisions
- Emerson & Stop 11 — 25 collisions
- U.S. 31 & Stop 11 — 24 collisions
- 38th & Moller — 23 collisions
- 82nd & Castleway — 21 collisions
- Washington & Mitthoeffer — 21 collisions
- Fall Creek & 38th — 20 collisions
- 82nd & Shadeland — 18 collisions
- Post & 21st — 17 collisions
- 82nd & Dean — 17 collisions
- 86th & Castleton Corner — 15 collisions
- Washington & German Church — 15 collisions
- Keystone & Kessler — 14 collisions
- 38th & Lafayette — 13 collisions
- Franklin & 38th — 13 collisions
- Keystone & 96th — 13 collisions
- Emerson & Southport — 12 collisions
Common Causes of Intersection Accidents
Intersection accidents happen for many reasons. Types of driver errors often cited as contributing factors after an intersection collision include:
- Inadequate surveillance: This includes failing to look ahead or to the left or right before proceeding from a stop sign or making a right turn at a red light. Failure to yield right of way is also commonly due to not looking before proceeding.
- Illegal maneuver: Running a stoplight or stop sign, or failure to yield causes many intersection accidents. Drivers not expecting a vehicle in their path may be moving at full speed, making the collision more damaging.
- Internal distraction: Distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, has become a leading cause of car accidents of all kinds in recent years. However, distracted driving also includes talking to passengers, dealing with pets in the car, eating or drinking while driving, adjusting the radio or disc player, or any activity that diverts attention from watching the road and controlling the vehicle.
- Bad decisions about other vehicles: Drivers involved in intersection accidents often have turned in front of an oncoming vehicle after misjudging its speed, the space between vehicles, or the driver’s intentions. Left-turn accidents at intersections are most often caused by driver misjudgment or failure to see an oncoming car or motorcycle.
- Turning with an obstructed view: Other vehicles, a poorly designed intersection, vehicle structure (blind spots), and/or passengers, pets or cargo in a vehicle can momentarily obstruct a driver’s view and lead to a collision.
Common Injuries in Car Crashes at Intersections
At an intersection, cars are likely to be approaching from cross streets, leading to side impact collisions. These types of accidents also are known as broadside or T-bone crashes.
Most injuries suffered in car accidents are caused by blunt-force trauma. Drivers and passengers can be violently shaken by the initial impact of a crash and then slammed against airbags or the car’s steering wheel, dashboard, windshield or seat backs. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists in accidents suffer an initial impact from the vehicle and secondary impact with the roadway, ground or roadside structures.
Common injuries suffered in intersection collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussion
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back injuries, including damage to vertebrae and discs
- Spinal cord injury in the neck or back
- Injuries to internal organs
- Broken bones, including fractured limbs, ribs, collarbones
- Soft tissue injuries, including torn muscles or ligaments.
Who is at Fault in Intersection Accidents?
The NHTSA says 96 percent of intersection accidents are caused by driver error.
A person injured in an intersection accident who was not at fault has the right to hold the at-fault driver or drivers accountable. This includes negligent drivers and the companies responsible for commercial drivers they employ, faulty vehicles or vehicle parts, or faulty roadways.
An injured person harmed by another motorist in an intersection collision may pursue a civil claim that seeks compensation for such losses as medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and vehicle damage.
After some accidents, such as alcohol-related accidents, a criminal charge and conviction may indicate who is at fault, but it is not necessary for a personal injury claim. Personal injury attorneys like ours at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC conduct car accident investigations that are more extensive than police have time to pursue. A claim may move forward based on evidence of liability and the losses an innocent party has suffered.
A law firm with the resources to fully investigate an accident, build a compelling case for compensation, and negotiate aggressively for a full and fair settlement can help a seriously injured accident victim recover financially and move on with their life.
After any car accident in metropolitan Indianapolis that requires medical care, you should meet with a knowledgeable Indiana accident lawyer. Please contact us at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC for a free and confidential assessment of your case in our Indianapolis or Batesville offices.