Between 2017 and 2019 alone, the intersection at Margie Drive and Osigian Boulevard in Warner Robins, Georgia has seen 10 rear-end collisions and 22 angle collisions, according to data collected from the Georgia Electronic Accident Reporting system.
Compared to other 4-way intersections in Georgia, these numbers are relatively minor. But as business continues to grow in the area and traffic increases, so does the likelihood for more intersection accidents.
Warner Robins resident Claudia Robinson, who told local reporters that “the intersection…drives her crazy,” has suggested that a stoplight be installed in order to cut down on the number of car accidents.
Warner Robins’ transportation leaders Bill Mulkey and Jessica Bird say they’re aware the current 4-way intersection is outdated for the area and have plans to solve the problem, but it won’t be a stoplight. Rather, local officials are considering a roundabout.
Transportation planner Jessica Bird said:
“If you have a red light, you’re going to have more a delay. With a roundabout, it will actually decrease the delay because the traffic will be continuously turning inside. It’s not like anyone’s going to have to sit there and you’ll have to sit through the entire traffic signal.”
Plans to break ground for the roundabout will begin this summer and Mulkey said they hope to finish by fall.
Common causes of intersection accidents
According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
“Crashes often occur at intersections because these are the locations where two or more roads cross each other and activities such as turning left, crossing over, and turning right have the potential for conflicts resulting in crashes.”
These crashes are often caused by one of the following factors:
- Failure to stop at the traffic light/signal. When a driver fails to stop at a red light or a stop sign, they enter the direct path of oncoming traffic. Drivers heading in the opposite direction are often traveling too fast to react in time, which can result in a car crash with serious injuries.
- Failure to yield. Right of way rules still exist at intersections, even if there’s no signal. When these rules aren’t followed, a driver may continue through the intersection even if there’s oncoming traffic and “T-bone” another vehicle.
- Speeding through yellow light. Not only does speeding cause accidents to happen, but when drivers try to speed through a yellow light they increase the risk of crashing with another driver.
- Prohibited right turns. Some drivers may not realize this, but not all intersections allow for right turns. Usually, this is because they pose an unreasonable danger of a crash. When drivers try to make an illegal right turn, it can cause a collision.
- Pushed into traffic. When a car sitting at a stoplight or stop sign is rear-ended, they can be pushed into traffic and collide with other drivers traveling in opposite directions at a 4-way intersection.
- Failure to be aware of their surroundings. Drivers need to constantly observe traffic around them in order to avoid a collision. Failure to do so at an intersection can cause them to drive through without realizing another vehicle is coming from the opposite direction or making a turn and collide.
- Obstructed views. Many dangerous intersections might have a building on the corner or bush or trees that can obstruct their view of oncoming traffic, making it difficult to see around and judge if it’s safe to continue or turn.
Georgia right of way laws
At a 4-way intersection, inexperienced or distracted drivers commonly get confused about who can go and who must yield.
Georgia’s right of way laws can be summed up as the following:
- When traveling towards an intersection and approaching a stop sign, drivers must stop and give the right-of-way to anyone in a vehicle or on foot who is already there.
- If there is no stop sign or signal, drivers must yield the right-of-way to anyone who arrives at the intersection first. If drivers arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way.
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way at a 4-way stop.
- When approaching a yield sign, drivers must slow down and be ready to stop for oncoming traffic.
- Drivers may turn right on a red light unless a sign is present prohibiting the action. Drivers must yield to oncoming traffic before making a turn.
Who’s responsible for an intersection accident in Georgia?
“Crash occurrence while crossing over at traffic signals or stop signs as well as while turning left at traffic signals at intersections may be attributed to ‘distraction,’ ‘inattention,’ ‘illegal maneuver,’ ‘driving too fast for conditions or aggressive driving,’” according to the NHTSA.
When a driver fails to observe their surroundings by texting while driving, fiddling with the car radio, carrying a conversation with passengers, or decides to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, that can be determined to be negligence.
If that is the case, the driver who wasn’t paying attention can be held liable for damages and injuries, and a Georgia car accident lawyer can help.
At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, our experienced advocates for Georgia drivers can help you get the maximum compensation you and your loved ones deserve if you’re involved in an accident at an intersection.