Whether you live on the islands full time or are one of tens of thousands of tourists who plan on visiting Hawaii this year, you will no doubt travel by vehicle while you’re here at some point. Whether you’re driving or riding as a passenger, there are several things you can at intersections to help reduce the chances of collision. Intersections happen to be high-risk areas, and the more you know about how to avoid accidents, the better.
The problem is that you can’t control other people’s choices or actions behind the wheel. Yes, you might be alert and cautious as you approach a crossroads; however, if a nearby motorist is not, there could be trouble. Many fatal collisions occur at intersections, and driver negligence is often the cause.
Check, check and double-check
Even when you know you have a right of way at an intersection, it’s definitely a time when it’s better to be safe than sorry. The following list includes helpful tips for making it through crossroads without incident:
- You might have a green light as you approach an intersection, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to cross over to the other side or turn. It’s always best to slow down a bit and scan the area to make sure there are no potential hazards in your path.
- Try never to drive through yellow lights at intersections. It’s safer to simply decelerate and stop because you know the light will soon be turning red.
- Leaving at least three car lengths of space between you and the vehicle in front of you is a good habit when stopped at a Hawaii intersection. This leaves you plenty of room to move closer to that vehicle if a car approaches you too fast from behind and has to screech to a stop.
- While you might think your path of vision is clear, make sure you check and re-check for obstacles that impede visibility. This might include parked cars, shrubbery or trees, lamp posts, or other structures.
- Not all pedestrians adhere to traffic laws. Always be on the lookout for someone stepping into an intersection before you accelerate to pass through or turn.
Have you ever taught someone how to drive? You hopefully took time to specifically talk about intersection safety. Crossroad areas tend to busier at certain times of day, such as during rush hour when a lot of travelers are trying to get to or home from work.
If someone hits you
You stand a good chance of suffering moderate to severe injuries if another driver hits you in an intersection. Someone might run a red light or fail to stop at a stop sign. The top priority in such situations is always to seek medical attention, even if you think you feel okay after a crash.
Although it is a good idea to request the other driver’s contact and insurance information, try to avoid confrontation with the other driver, if possible. The police will likely be on site before long, and you can discuss other important issues with them.
After the accident, you might have to schedule an appointment with a vehicle mechanic, unless your car is totaled, then you might be shopping for a new one. Many Hawaii accident victims also schedule meetings with personal injury attorneys, especially when they have evidence that another person’s negligence caused their injuries.