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Defensive Driving Adventures

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June 11, 2005 - Intersections can be very dangerous

Intersections are one of the most dangerous places to drive and auto insurance companies actually track the most dangerous. According to State Farm the intersection of Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard is one of the most dangerous in the entire country. So why are intersections so dangerous? The increased danger at intersections is primarily because many drivers don't obey the traffic signals.

Look Before You Cross

As you approach an intersection slow down before you enter the intersection and look both ways. Just because you have a green light does not mean it's safe to cross. Defensive driving means assuming that another driver will make a mistake and go through the red light. Once you see the intersection is safe, return to your normal speed. Never stop in an intersection unless you are turning left or it's an emergency.

When you are stopped at a red light and it turns green don't just pull out. Wait three (3) seconds and look in both directions. Proceed through the intersection when you see it is safe. Many intersection accidents are caused by a driver running the red light, which takes us to our next topic - red and yellow traffic lights. If we could get all drivers to actually stop at red lights we could eliminate the majority of accidents - many of them bad accidents.

Approaching an Intersection

As you approach an intersection pay close attention to the traffic light. A yellow light means stop if you can, the light will soon be red. When you see the light turn yellow you must immediately judge if you can safely stop. If you are paying attention and see the yellow light well before you approach the intersection then you will have plenty of time to stop. If the light turns yellow when you are to close to the intersection to stop then proceed through the intersection.

Red and Yellow Arrows

A red arrow means you should come to a complete stop. After stopping you can make a right turn on the red arrow at most intersections if the way is clear. In some cases you will see a "No Turn on Red" sign which you must obey. A yellow arrow means the same as a yellow light but applies only to the direction of the arrow.

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