Tag Archives: accident


6 common intersection accident types (and how to avoid them)

In a report compiled by Arrive Alive, the US Department of Transportation estimated that as much as 43% of motor accidents happen at intersections or are ‘intersection-related’.

With this in mind, knowing how to avoid these sorts of situations can minimise your risk of getting into a bad accident.

Arrive Alive describes an intersection as a location where two or more roads meet, cross or converge and traffic moving in different directions all comes together.

“They come in many different designs, configurations, and sizes. In traffic design, intersections can contain as many as six streets converging. For example, a six-way intersection can involve the crossing of two perpendicular streets, with yet another street crossing them diagonally.”

Types of intersection-related crashed

  • Collisions between oncoming vehicles, particularly when one is turning across traffic
  • Rear-end crashes – often occurring because a following driver is distracted and does not realize the lead driver has stopped.
  • Side impact collisions or “T-bones”.  These types of accidents typically involve a driver on one side running a red light, be it intentionally or while trying to make it through an intersection before a yellow light turns red.
  • Side-swipe collisions where one or more vehicles are turning.
  • Collisions into vulnerable road user such as pedestrians and cyclists while turning.
  • Crashes at Level Crossings/ Rail Crossings

How to avoid crashes at intersections

Approaching the Intersection

  • Drive defensively, anticipating problems and situations with heightened caution and attention during congested traffic times such as rush hour.
  • Be patient – Impatience increases emotions and decreases attention.
  • Think about what other drivers might do as you approach intersections, particularly when you are altering your path approaching an intersection.
  • Avoid all driver distractions – all your focus is required when approaching an intersection.
  • Always, always wear your seatbelt and insist that everyone in your vehicle wears theirs.
  • A passenger not buckled in will become a projectile threatening the safety of other passengers in a collision.
  • Do not speed at intersections – a driver driving too fast when approaching a crossing, may not be able to completely stop when necessary.

Considerations at Intersections with Traffic Lights

  • Know the rules of the road at intersections and specifically at traffic lights.
  • Emergency vehicles always have the first right-of-way. Remain stopped and still until the emergency vehicle has completely cleared the area of the intersection.
  • Before you move, check to be sure other emergency vehicles are not following the first one.
  • A green light means proceed with responsible caution; yellow signals mean stop before the white line unless you are too close to do so safely. A red light means stop.
  • Yellow lights do not provide a signal to motorists to go faster through the intersection.
  • Good judgment must be used to avoid violating the subsequent red light, at the same time avoiding stopping in the middle of the intersection.
  • Blinking amber lights alert the driver to be cautious in approaching and proceeding through an intersection, and to give way to all pedestrians and vehicles crossing the driver’s path
  • Blinking red lights require that motorists stop at the intersection [and yield to all pedestrians crossing their path] before proceeding through [in the same way as for a 4-way stop].
  • Look at you left and right and pay attention to other drivers who are trying to beat the signal change.
  • Be extra cautious in rain and icy cold weather where roads may be slippery.
  • Always assume when approaching an intersection that cross traffic or pedestrians may not obey traffic control devices or yield right-of-way.
  • If you are the first vehicle at the light, stop before the painted stop line, before crosswalks or, if neither is present, at the intersection itself without entering the intersection.
  • Come to a full stop and leave enough space between you and the vehicle stopped ahead of you so that you can steer around it if it were to become disabled.
  • When the light turns green, scan the intersection before you move forward – Take your time to ensure that the intersection is all yours.
  • With delayed green, some drivers believe they are entitled to those few extra seconds and speed up rather than slow down
  • Beware of those accelerating over the red light and the driver eagerly anticipating the green light.
  • Do not follow other vehicles very closely (tailgate). They might stop suddenly.
  • Always watch out for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
  • Pedestrians always have the right-of-way. If a pedestrian is crossing illegally (jaywalking), you must still yield the right-of-way.
  • Use your turn signals appropriately. Without the proper signals, another driver may not be aware that you are turning and may pull out in front of you or hit you.
  • Give a turning signal before you turn or change lanes and be sure that you are in the correct lane before you signal your intention to turn.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Malfunctioning warning lights (turn signals, brakes, headlights) make it difficult for other motorists to predict your actions on the roadway.
  • Obey all traffic signals and never assume it is safe to turn!
  • Avoid entering an intersection when traffic is backed up on the other side, you may be unable to leave the intersection before the light change and might be stuck in the middle.

Unregulated intersections

  • Unmarked intersections that have no controlling lights or signage should be treated as full stops in all directions before proceeding.
  • Where traffic lights are out of order the rules for a 4-way stop apply.
  • At an intersection regulated only by a stop sign at one of the cross streets, the unregulated flow of traffic has the right-of-way.
  • The vehicle reaching the intersection and stopping first always has the right-of-way.
  • Vehicles turning left should always yield to vehicles approaching from the right and proceeding straight.

There is a need for special caution when large trucks and farming equipment approach intersections.

  • Beware of tractors pulling trailers. Collisions involving trailers often cause extensive damages to vehicles and other properties.
  • Truck drivers crossing an uncontrolled intersection, must allow enough time to clear the entire intersection with the rear of vehicle without interfering with cross traffic. They may not be visible to oncoming traffic, and oncoming drivers may be inattentive or impaired.
  • Be especially aware of uncontrolled intersections at dawn, dusk and during night time hours where you may not see a long trailer following a truck.
  • Be alert to trucks and trailers where the sides might not be clean or the reflective devices and other measures to ensure increased visibility are not operational.
  • Truck drivers need to ensure side lamps and reflective devices are operational after a flatbed trailer has been unloaded as they can be more difficult to see when empty.

Source: Arrive Alive

women drivers

“Women are the worst drivers!” Stop the stigma

At some point you might have heard the stereotype that all women are bad drivers. Or perhaps like me you’ve heard a relative or friend utter the words “well no wonder that car doesn’t know where it’s going, it’s a woman driving!”

Also read: Dismantling the myth that women are ‘bad drivers’

Is this because traditionally women weren’t the drivers, their partners were. Or is it just because there are more women drivers on the road today?

Either way, there are certain driving habits that women have which separate them from the men.

Women are catching up

In the book, “Why we drive the way we do” it’s suggested that male drivers are likely to be more risky when it comes to their driving styles and therefore end up in far worse accidents. However, while women are more prone to being apprehensive or cautious behind the wheel, being overly apprehensive or hesitant when driving can also lead to accidents.

Driving habits that give women a bad name


As great as we women are at doing multiple things at once, doing them while driving isn’t the smartest idea. When you think you’ve got it all under control (while applying your makeup and talking on your phone) you really don’t notice how much you’re either swerving out of your lane, taking a wrong turn or confusing the driver behind you.

Driving with heels on 

So many of us still do this despite numerous warnings in social media about the dangers of driving with heels on. In fact many experts have called for a ban on it completely. Why? Driving in heels restricts the movement between the bottom of your foot and the pedals. An article in the Daily Mail reported that nearly 40% of women drive in heels.


This goes along the lines of hesitation and apprehensiveness when driving. Decisiveness and knowing where and when to move is key to driving and avoiding accidents. Dilly-dallying because you’re uncertain can really frustrate other drivers. Look ahead and be aware of what’s happening with traffic in front of you so that you it’s easier to determine and plan your next move.


As observant as we are, we’re also easily distracted by things around us. Scenery (like the good-looking runner), “50% off” sale signs, accident scenes and anything unusual are just some of the things that we’ll turn our heads for. Keep your eyes on the car or road in front of you.


33 car pileup - smog in china

China’s smog problem results in massive traffic pileup!

The smog in China isn’t just a danger to people’s health for the obvious reasons. A massive pileup occurred yesterday as a result of the poor visibility.

The crash involving at least 33 vehicles, travelling on the Taichang Expressway in Tianjin left six dead, four hospitalised and more injured. China’s smog problem is a huge traffic safety issue, due to the poor visibility it causes. The problem is even worse around the major roadways, as this is where the highest levels of smog are found.

China smog pileup

Beijing issued a red-alert warning, ordering half of China’s capital to stay of the roads. The accident took place shortly after this, perhaps the warning should come in sooner!

pileup crash - air pollution

The major contributing factor to the smog problem in China, is the multitude of coal-burning power-plants. However, China have recently agreed to cut back on its reliance to coal and aims to generate 20% of its energy from clean and renewable sources, by 2030.

China smog causes

The pileup accident took place about 145 km from the red-alert area issued by Beijing. The severity of the smog is expected to persist for the next few days at least and it seems that the whole of Northern China face these conditions.

Source: Jalopnik

Woman having a car accident

When a car rats you out for trying to attempt a hit and run…

Cathy Bernstein, a 57-year woman from Florida, really didn’t think this one through. She tried to leave the scene of an accident she caused clearly forgetting that her car had Ford Sync, a system that offers 911 Assist.

We have Ford Sync in South Africa but are yet to get the 911 Assist system. BMW has something similar with BMW’s ConnectedDrive and Intelligent Emergency Call where, if an airbag is deployed, the car automatically contacts the BMW call centre.

But back to Cathy. Police in Florida say that she hit a truck and then rear-ended a minivan before leaving the scene. Her Ford Focus, which was equipped with the 911 Assist system which uses a paired Bluetooth phone to contact 911 in the event of an accident, did exactly what it was designed to do.

Once the car had called 911 a dispatcher called Cathy to confirm:

Dispatcher: … your car called in saying you’ve been involved in an accident. It doesn’t do that for no reason. Did you leave the scene of an accident?

Bernstein: No, I would never do that.

But actually, she did just that! Too bad for her that her car was the one to give her away. She has since been arrested.

Source: Jalopnik

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 1.11.22 PM

Dad drives over his own son, doesn’t realise it

We can not imagine what this must feel like. Jamie Ellison, who is a father of four in England,  posted a Facebook status on Friday morning after his son, AJ, was hit by a car and seriously injured.

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 1.11.15 PM

People responded to his post:

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 1.25.13 PM

The police were called to investigate the scene and after the investigation it was determined that the boy had been hit in a private driveway by a “close family member”.

It was then that Ellison realised it was in fact him. He then posted this:

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 1.26.45 PM

The Gloucerstershire Echo posted a follow up story on the incident and Ellison left a comment expressing his remorse.

Yesterday morning, I put my two girls into the car ready for the school. AJ is at the window waving. I reverse out of my drive a minute later after seat belting my two daughters. I drop them at school at which time my girlfriend has alerted me that AJ has been hit by a vehicle.

Naturally, I get to the scene with police, ambulances, etc., and of course I’m assuming its a hit and run as I had no idea I reversed into my son on the blind side. My two daughters were also unaware he was there. A few hours later thanks to some amazing police men/women they found CCTV footage which showed that I hit my own son.

Could you imagine what I felt like then knowing I nearly killed my own son completely unaware that I was responsible? You really think I hit him on purpose to do a school run only to get in an ambulance with him 10 mins later? Think about that. Then I have to collect my other son and two daughters from school and inform them about their brother.

I hope it’s a chat you never have to go through. I can genuinely understand some opinions on here, but that’s all they are, opinions. Now you have FACTS of a horrible family tragedy. The little man is recovering well, and young enough to forget this day. It’s something that will never be etched from my mind. So please understand this is an accident.

He ended it with this plea:

“I don’t want bad things said about me or my family. We’re decent hard working parents, and trying to do our best. It’s a horrible tragedy,and no one is more sorry than I am as I look at cuts and bruises on my son. Constantly thinking what if…what if?”

AJ’s injuries were considered serious but not life threatening.

Source: BuzzFeed

Car accident. Close up of the damaged vehicles

6 Things to do when involved in an accident!

“The chances of being in a car accident in South Africa are an ‘astonishing’ one in 101,”  says the Automobile Association of South Africa.

South Africa’s road accident statistics are incredibly high, making South Africa one of the most dangerous countries in the world to drive in. Make sure you know what to do if you’re ever involved in an accident.


1. Stay at the scene.

First of all, STOP! If you were in any way involved in the accident, by law you have to stop. So if you or your vehicle contributed in any way to the damaging of any property or people, you have to stay at the scene until authorities have gathered the required information from you.

2. Help anyone who has been hurt!

Next, help anyone who has been hurt – call the emergency services and/or SAPS. If you don’t know anything about first aid, be careful not to do anything to make any injuries worse! So apart from getting an individual out of immediate danger, it would probably be best to wait until someone who knows what they’re doing is there.

3. Get the details of everyone involved.

Get the details of all individuals involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. These should include:

  • Full names
  • ID numbers
  • Addresses
  • Telephone details
  • Vehicle registration numbers

Apart from those involved, it would also be a good idea to get the details of:

  • The vehicles involved in the accident (general description)
  • The police and traffic officers at the scene
  • The ambulance personnel
  • Any tow truck drivers that moved any vehicles

4. Report the accident

If no one has been hurt, then the police do not have to be called to the scene of the accident. However, the accident still has to be reported to the police within 24 hours. It is an offence not to report an accident in which another person’s property has been damaged, or another person has been injured.

5. Don’t move anything until the police have said you can.

Do not interfere with the evidence! If anyone has been injured then none of the vehicles or any potential evidence can be moved until a police officer has given the OK.

6. Consequences

Be aware of the legal consequences. These include:

a criminal charge of driving recklessly
a criminal charge of driving negligently
a criminal charge of culpable homicide
a civil claim for damage to property
a civil claim for personal injury.

Take a look here for the physical effects that alcohol has on your body.

Source: www.westerncape.gov.za