Intersections are some of the deadliest areas of the road. Despite signage, traffic lights and the rules of when you’re expected to yield — all of which are expected to keep people safe — intersections will always have inherent risks. With the massive amount of traffic that goes through some intersections every day, accidents are bound to happen eventually. The busier the intersection, the more likely the worst might occur.

In Arizona, around 28 percent of all traffic deaths and 44 percent of all serious traffic injuries happen at intersections. Every year in our state, about 2,000 fatal and serious injury crashes occur at intersections.

Many factors go into what can make an intersection particularly dangerous, including a lack of turning lanes, inadequate or confusing signage and limited visibility. Then there’s always driver errors, such as illegal or risky behavior. That’s why it’s extra important for you to exercise caution and drive defensively in intersections.

Here are some tips to help you drive safely at busy intersections:

  • Stop and look both ways, being aware of your blind spots.
  • Look for cross traffic and don’t assume everyone will respect your right of way.
  • Watch for cars trying to speed through yellow lights.
  • Look out for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Join traffic cautiously and slowly.
  • When turning right on red, wait for ample space to enter the traffic flow.
  • Keep your distance from semitrucks making wide turns.
  • Never change lanes when inside an intersection.
  • Treat an intersection with a broken traffic light as a four-way stop, but beware of other drivers who may not remember the rule.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash, it’s critical that you know your legal rights and seek compensation if possible. When your family is suffering, the last thing you probably want to think about is the money, but even so, the costs can quickly add up — medical bills, missed work time and even funeral expenses. An experienced and compassionate Arizona attorney can help you understand your legal options and fight on your behalf against the insurance companies to see you get fair treatment under the law.