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Caution needed at Florida intersections

When you get behind the wheel to head to work, the store or out for an evening with friends, you may not spend a lot of time wondering whether you'll safely arrive to your destination. Especially, if you're an experienced Florida driver, it often becomes more of a habit than something you pause to think deeply about before you start your car.

It's always a good idea, no matter how long you've been a licensed driver, to regularly review safety tips, particularly those involving proper tire maintenance or how to safely navigate intersections. Intersections are often dangerous sections of roadway. Collisions that occur at crossroads often result in severe or life-threatening injuries.

Types of intersections

If you've ever driven in a rural area, you may have encountered unmarked intersections. This type of crossroad is not secured. Secured intersections have signage or electronic signals to govern the movement of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian. Secured intersections do not guarantee safety, however.

Even if you approach an intersection that has traffic lights or stop signs, you have no way of predicting what another driver might do. This is why it's so important to be especially alert and cautious whether you're at a marked or unmarked intersection.

Improve intersection safety

The safer a driver you are, the better. If you're coming upon a crossroad and you have a yellow light, it's always safest to slow down in anticipation for the red light. Accelerating to try to beat the light is a dangerous driving habit that may lead to disaster.

It's also not a good idea to immediately step on the gas if you see your light turn green. At an intersection, there may be numerous other vehicles present, and it's safer to pause and scan your surroundings before proceeding on a green light. Many collisions occur at crossroads when drivers fail to stop at red lights and collide with drivers who are navigating turns.

Who has the right of way?

Vehicles traveling straight through an intersection have the right of way. Also, if you have a stop or yield sign, you're supposed to give the right of way to vehicles crossing through traffic without traffic signs.

What about the times you arrive at a 4-way crossroad simultaneously with several other vehicles? In such cases, drivers are supposed to yield to the vehicle on their right. If you're unsure whether you have the right of way in a particular instance, it's always safer to yield than to proceed.

If a collision occurs

The forceful impact of an intersection collision might have painful results. There's a chance you might suffer whiplash, lacerations, broken bones or ever more serious injuries, such as brain trauma or internal organ damage. This is why the greatest priority in the immediate aftermath of a crash is to seek medical attention.

Injuries are not always immediately apparent, which is why it's also important to closely monitor your condition in the hours and days that follow a collision. Florida law allows recovering accident victims to seek financial recovery for their losses when another driver's negligence was a prominent cause.

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