When you’re driving, the speed of your vehicle may make you feel that you’re at risk. This is especially common with new drivers. This is why they often feel that driving on the interstate is very risky, where the speed limits are higher, and traffic often exceeds those limits.
Conversely, drivers may feel relatively safer at an interaction. Traffic comes to a stop completely, and a stoplight governs the intersection, so you know what to expect. This feels less risky, and the low speeds give you plenty of time to react. So, which one is really safer?
Intersections are more hazardous
The National Safety Council warns that intersections are extremely risky and often bring about hidden dangers. They can be complex and confusing, depending on how many lanes and what types of traffic controls there are. Plus, drivers have to follow all of the rules perfectly to avoid a crash. If just one driver makes a mistake — driving out of turn or running a red light, for instance — that can be enough for a serious accident. Speeds are low but crashes still happen, and many are severe.
On the other hand, interstates are often lauded as some of the safest places you can drive. Speeds are high, but the roads are straight and smooth, all cars are moving in the same direction, and there generally aren’t massive speed differences between cars. With exits and onramps, traffic flow is also well-controlled, and you don’t have vehicles unexpectedly entering or leaving the road, as you do on city streets.
What if you get injured in an accident?
Accidents can and do happen anywhere. If you get injured in a wreck, you need to know how to legally seek compensation.