Oklahoma Officials Call for Safety Improvements After Fatal Intersection Accidents
After two fatal accidents occurred at the same intersection in Skiatook, Oklahoma, local officials are now calling for safety improvements.
The first accident occurred when a motorist was at a stop sign at the intersection when a pickup truck hit her on the driver’s side as she pulled out. The second accident involved a motorcyclist passing multiple vehicles and then colliding with the back of a truck, launching the rider off their motorcycle.
Skiatook is a small city that straddles the line between Tulsa and Osage counties in Oklahoma. According to Police Chief Billy Wakefield, there have been 58 accidents at the intersection in question since 2010, including three fatal crashes. The intersection involves Oklahoma 20, North 52nd Avenue, and Javine Hill Road. Both Wakefield and City Manager Dan Yancey believes changes are in order, though there’s no proposed plan yet.
Why Are Intersections So Dangerous?
Intersections are one of the most common sites of auto accidents; according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 50% of combined fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. More than 2.5 million intersection accidents occur in the U.S. every year. Intersections are dangerous because they involve many factors and moving parts. While highways typically only carry drivers and sometimes construction workers on the side of roads, intersections can hold space for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Some common factors that contribute to intersection accidents include:
- Illegal and dangerous turns: Drivers often put bicyclists and pedestrians in harm’s way when they make right-hand turns without yielding to those crossing the street, or they cut off a bicyclist in the bike lane. Drivers at intersections are also known to turn illegally on red or fail to yield for pedestrians and oncoming traffic when making left-hand turns, which frequently cause T-bone accidents.
- Multiple points of entry: Traffic accidents become more likely to occur as the number of points of entry at an intersection increase, according to the FHWA. With multiple points of entry from other streets and parking lots, this means that traffic is funneling in and out of driveways and drivers must be alert to everything occurring around them. Some drivers looking to quickly enter a driveway may fail to signal before turning or are too busy looking for their destination that they fail to notice a pedestrian passing by on the sidewalk.
- Speeding: Cars often speed up, rather than slow down after seeing a yellow light as a way to avoid having to stop, only to completely run a red light and cause serious accidents with other vehicles. Similarly, some cars immediately drive off at a green light instead of waiting a few seconds to determine there are no dangers and the intersection is safe to drive through.
- Distracted pedestrians: Pedestrians are, like drivers, increasingly distracted by their phones and may not be alert when crossing an intersection. More and more pedestrians are thus walking right into traffic and causing accidents, whether they’re texting or listening to music and not able to hear what’s going on around them.
Fighting for Fair Compensation
Our auto accident attorneys at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC understand how stressful and traumatic this time may be. Auto accidents are serious life events that can be challenging to recover from – fortunately, our attorneys are available to stand by your side and support you as you heal. Having secured millions of dollars for clients who have been injured in accidents, our legal team knows how to strengthen your injury claim and hold negligent drivers, companies, and other entities responsible for their actions. We can gather the evidence you need after your accident, from photos of property damage and medical records to witness testimonies, in order to build your case. We can fight for you in and out of the courtroom while you concentrate on getting better.
Contact us online or by phone at (918) 347-6456 to schedule a free consultation with our trusted auto accident attorneys. We’ve handled countless car accident claims, from drunk driving accidents to Uber and Lyft accident claims.