Monday, November 16, 2009

Stop, Look & Listen

Stop, look and listen. Those words of instruction not only pertain to one driving near railroad tracks, but also pertain to any controlled intersection which directs traffic to stop before entering into an intersection.

Another collision occurred today near Boise, Idaho. A vehicle is reported to have been traveling on Bennington Avenue at the intersection of Chinden Blvd.; the vehicle was attempting to make a left turn onto Chinden Blvd. and was T-boned. Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle that was attempting to negotiate the left turn was reported to have died at the scene of the collision.

In order to avert a collision, one should know how to calculate the distance a vehicle is traveling in feet per second in order to determine whether one has enough clearance to drive safely into an intersection. The calculation is quite simple. In order to determine how many feet a vehicle is traveling per second, you multiply the miles per hour the vehicle is traveling by 1.4667. Hence, a vehicle traveling 40 mph is traveling 58.67 feet per second; a vehicle traveling 45 mph is traveling 66 feet per second; a vehicle traveling 50 mph is traveling 73.34 feet per second and a vehicle traveling 55 mph is traveling 80.67 feet per second. In order to put this in perspective, a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour travels the distance of a football field (300 feet) in just 3.72 seconds. Obviously, one isn't require to make a mathematical calculation before driving into an intersection, but one should become familiar with traffic patterns and how traffic is manuevering at a given intersection before attempting to enter same. The driver who died today apparantly miscalculated the time and distance necessary to maneuver safely into the intersection; or, perhaps the driver was distracted and didn't see the oncoming traffic before the collision occurred. Either way, it is important to take the time to stop, look and listen before attempting to negotiate into an intersection that is controlled by a stop sign and yield the right-of-way to cross-traffic.

A controlled intersection is one that is marked with a stop sign or stop light. An intersection that is controlled by a stop sign requires the driver to stop at the intersection and yield the right-of-way to cross-traffic before entering into the intersection. Drivers that approach a controlled intersection should "stop, look and listen" for oncoming cross-traffic and then yield the right-of-way to same. The life you save may be your own.

My sincerest condolences to the family who lost their loved one today. It is sad when such a death could have been prevented had the driver simply followed the rules of the road.

Parents are encouraged to talk to their children and make sure they understand the "time and distance" necessary in negotiating left turns and the need to yield the right-of-way to cross traffic when approaching a controlled intersection.

CONTACT INFORMATION: If you or a family member have been injured or damaged due to the fault or responsibility of someone else, an industrial accident or by a dangerous or defective product, drug or toxic substance, contact Alan Morton for a no obligation, free consultation.

For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 [866.WIN.1.NOW]
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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