What causes accidents: junctions

An alarmingly high proportion of accidents happen in and around junctions.

This is because of the combination of busy roads, traffic that can be nose to tail and people crossing all sorts of different paths, combined with impatience and perhaps tiredness, means that some vehicles either drive aggressively, get confused by road markings, or simply make mistakes: all of these mean that junctions are definitely an accident hot spot.

Particularly where there are lights and filter lanes you get all sorts of weird and wonderful behaviour. Some people get confused by filter lights and go straight ahead when in fact say only the left filter comes on. Others will think they can go and turn straight away and cut across traffic going straight ahead, whilst if there is a vehicle close behind you pushing the lights or a cyclist in the road then there are so many potential hazards to consider.

Therefore you should always pay particular attention around junctions.

Go a little more slowly than you would normally in usual conditions because this will give you more time to react when something unexpected happens.

An additional complication is that there are often pedestrians around in some junctions and therefore whether they will cross a road or not that you are about to turn into can cause accidents because other drivers will make different assumptions about how you will behave, and this then impacts their road position and speed too.

Finally, when you need to turn across approaching traffic, make sure you only do so when safe. Although you might feel pressured by causing cars to wait behind you, you should only turn when it is safe to do so and not try and cut in front of an approaching car where the margin is really too tight.

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