South Dakota has many types of roads, including those in rural settings, as well as major highways in metropolitan areas. In both regions, there are intersections, some of which are secured by traffic signals or stop signs, while others have no traffic controls at all. Intersections are high-risk stretches of roadway, and collisions that occur in these areas are often fatal.
Any number of unexpected issues may arise when you are navigating an intersection. This is why safety analysts often say that the first key to safety at a crossroads is to expect the unexpected. There are several factors that increase the likelihood of collision at a crossroads. Keeping these things in mind may help you avoid disaster.
Collisions are often caused by driver negligence or reckless behavior
Just because you adhere to South Dakota traffic laws and try to stay alert and cautious at intersections, does not mean other motorists will do the same. You have no control over another driver’s behavior behind the wheel. Many collisions are caused when drivers fail to stop at red lights, blow through stop signs or don’t use turn signals. Recklessness and negligence combined are one of the most common factors in all intersection collisions.
Wrong-way drivers increase risk for collisions at crossroads
If you’re approaching an intersection when another driver turns into your path in the wrong direction, your safety and life are immediately at risk. An example of this would be a driver turning the wrong way onto a one-way street. Wrong-way drivers are often the cause of intersection disasters. Even if you notice a vehicle heading the wrong way, you may not have enough time to safely move your vehicle to avoid a crash.
Failing to yield a right-of-way at an uncontrolled intersection
You might come to a crossroads that is not marked by signage or traffic signals, in which case, the right-of-way rules of the road apply. Collisions at intersections often occur, however, when a driver fails to yield. For this reason, it is best to be especially cautious. If you are worried that another driver is not going to yield, it is wise to wait and let him or her proceed through the intersection, first, even if you know it is your turn to go.
If you suffer injuries in a collision at a South Dakota crossroad
When two vehicles collide in an intersection, it often has fatal results. If you survive a collision, you might suffer severe injuries. With quality medical care and support from your loved ones and friends, you may be able to achieve a swift and full recovery. However, many injuries take a long time to heal and some have permanent consequences.
South Dakota law allows recovering victims to seek financial restitution when another driver’s negligence or recklessness has caused a motor vehicle collision resulting in injuries.