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When Bad Road Design and Traffic Mix

By Hess & Nghiem on April 9, 2021

Intersections can be nerve-racking. Even seasoned drivers can mistake the right of way or make a turn when they shouldn’t have, leading to a serious collision. This is especially true when the crossroads are designed poorly, without safety in mind.

When bad road design and intersections mix, people lose their lives.

Poor Visibility

One of the key factors of crossing through an intersection safely is being able to see all oncoming traffic. Some intersections don’t have lights to indicate when it is safe to go, so drivers must be able to rely on their own sense of timing and vision. If a driver is unable to see oncoming traffic from the left or right, then he or she won’t be able to make a safe decision about when to pull into the intersection.

This is a common problem in Santa Ana. Like most California cities, street parking here is a must. However, when cars are allowed to park too close to the corner of an intersection, it can make it almost impossible for crossing drivers to be able to see down the road and spot oncoming vehicles. This can make pulling forward a dangerous task, and potentially even deadly.

Lack of Traffic Lights, Signs, and Signals

Traffic lights and signs give drivers at intersections important information. A traffic light will indicate when it is safe to go and who has the right of way. A stop sign will help drivers determine who should go when. If there are too few of these signs and lights, it can leave drivers in a confusing situation. Who has the right of way? Is it safe to drive forward? When are you allowed to make a turn? The best intersections will have clear lights and signals, with protected left turns. Dangerous intersections will have little, if any, signs or lights, meaning drivers will have to remember the rules for themselves.

Too Many Points of Entry

Drivers must be aware of all vehicles and pedestrians around them in order to avoid a collision. A poorly designed intersection will have multiple points of entry, making it difficult for drivers to proceed safely.

For example, a particularly busy intersection is sure to attract a lot of businesses. Intersections mean vehicle traffic, and vehicle traffic means customers. However, these businesses will require parking lots, and these parking lots will require entrances and exits. This means there could be anywhere from six to even more points of entry/exit along an intersection. It can quickly become confusing as to who has the right of way, whether to wait or go forward, and if a driver in a lot ahead is pulling out, waiting until all other cars have passed.

Poor Planning

When an intersection is in the middle of nowhere, it can be easy to slap down a couple of traffic signs and leave it at that. However, in a city as dense as Santa Ana, intersections must be planned with the nearby buildings and homes in mind. An intersection right beside a school, or example, must have good visibility, so that drivers can keep their eyes on any children crossing the street. There must also be enough space for a school bus to operate safely without hitting any other vehicles or pedestrians. The speed limits around the school must also be kept low, so that drivers keep to a safe speed at all times.

It isn’t enough to slap in a stop sign or two — intersections have to be planned with the environment around the crossing in mind. Different areas call for different kinds of signs, lights, and road markings. Not all intersections can be built the same. Poor planning is often behind dangerous intersections.

Santa Ana is no stranger to deadly intersection accidents. If you drive around the city, you have likely already encountered badly designed intersections and make a point to avoid them when possible. Sadly, that may not protect you from a collision. We at HN Injury Lawyers have worked with many car accident victims, and we have seen just how devastating an accident can be: emotionally, physically, and financially. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, then you deserve proper compensation. Call our Santa Ana auto accident attorneys at (657) 333-5726 to tell us about your case.

Posted in: Car Accidents