Auto Liability Exposure
By Universal Underwriters Group's
Loss Prevention Department
Have you ever been waiting at a four-way stop
when finally it's your turn to go and two other drivers decide it's
their turn as well? Driving through intersections is one of the
most dangerous and complex situations a driver encounters. One of
every three vehicle accidents takes place in an intersection. Failure
to yield the right of way is the primary cause of those accidents.
Taking the right of way for granted, even if you are entitled to
it, could leave you "dead right." Left-hand turns expose
you and your passengers at the vehicle's weakest point -- the side
doors. The Department of Transportion says side-impact crashes are
the most serious kind of collisions, and they most frequently occur
where? That's right, at intersections.
The following steps may help you and your employees avoid intersection
• First, avoid unregulated intersections and left-hand turns.
Plan driving routes with right-hand turns when possible. Intersections
with stoplights are safer than intersections with stop signs, and
they are safer than completely unregulated intersections.
• Always be prepared to yield the right of way at an intersection.
Slowing down and pausing a few seconds to permit the other driver
to pass safely will eliminate many intersection accidents. At four-way
stops, yield to vehicles that arrived first. If two vehicles arrive
at the same time, the vehicle on the left should yield to the one
on the right.
• Always yield to pedestrians.
• Stoplights can be very hazardous. Remember that yellow means,
"caution, prepare to stop" not "put the pedal to
the metal." When the light turns green, don't accelerate immediately
into the intersection. Take an extra second or two to scan left
and right, and then left again to look for oncoming traffic.
• Always use caution when entering an intersection. And, again,
always be prepared to yield the right of way even if it's rightfully
Most accidents can be avoided by staying alert, following at a safe
distance, focusing on driving, and by being courteous. Defensive
drivers expect the unexpected and take nothing for granted. They
never assume that the other driver is going to behave in any specific
manner, and they are always prepared to take evasive action.
Gerry Cecil is the National Account Executive
for the Special Account Services division of Universal Underwriters
Group. For more information about how Universal Underwriters Group,
Special Account Services can help your automotive recycling business
needs call 800-840-8842, ext. 4845, visit www.uuic.com/specaccts/ara.asp
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.