This month, a University of Texas engineering professor and some of his student researchers will travel to Washington D.C. to present their report on traffic hazards to the National Transportation Research Board Meeting. Their research could significantly affect public policy regarding transportation safety.
About 40% of vehicle accidents occur in an intersection, so much of the report is dedicated to identifying the factors that make an intersection more dangerous. The researchers found that intersections with blinking lights cause three times as many wrecks as those with traditional stop lights. Drivers exiting a highway are also much more likely to get in a wreck, particularly when they have to stop at an intersection soon after they exit.
The report was compiled based on analysis of almost 4000 wrecks. The researchers claim that focusing on safer intersections will help to reduce the risk of wrecks in the area around intersections. The report is expected to spur further research regarding unsafe intersections.