Stay Alert at Intersections to Cut Accident Risk By Half, Advises Auto Insurance Planners

You can reduce your chances of an auto accident by half — and thereby hold down your car insurance rates — by taking one simple step: paying attention at intersections.

“Your rates are primarily determined by claims, and most claims come from accidents,” explains Sean Denny of “Avoid accidents and you will save lots of money on your auto insurance policy.”

Every day, more than half of all auto accidents occur in intersections, resulting in one million injuries and 8,000 deaths per year. Here’s what you can do to improve your chances of avoiding accidents in intersections:

Look twice each way. Many people only look right and left once, then go. But a car coming from the right could be in the blind spot caused by your windshield pillar. Another motorist could be pulling onto your street or driving too fast. A pedestrian could be starting to cross, or a cyclist could be passing you on the right. A second look will double your chances of catching these unanticipated situations.

Take an extra moment at lights. Watch for cars trying to slip through an intersection after the light turns red. If you jump out just as your light turns green, you will collide with the other person trying to beat the red light. If the light is yellow as you approach, stop instead of trying to run it, so you’re not on the other end of that situation.

Watch cars in front of you. Brake lights, turn signals and lane changes are cues about what’s happening in the intersection. Perhaps a slow pedestrian has caused the cars to stop, or someone is pulling around a turning car. To handle these unexpected changes, don’t tailgate, and keep your attention on the traffic situation, not on the radio or cell phone.

Insurance companies differ on how much they reward cautious drivers. When you search for new auto policy, use a comparison shopping Web site like to get the most choices and best car insurance rates.

Reprints of this article are allowed for your site or newsletter with inclusion of this credit: “Reprinted with permission,, your one-stop shop for multiple auto insurance quotes online.”