Many people think of interstates and freeways as the most dangerous roads, but surface streets present many of their own hazards to the public. For example, driving on surface streets will typically mean going through substantially more intersections than you would encounter on a highway. Each intersection that you proceed through is an opportunity for something to go drastically wrong.

In fact, roughly 36% of all collisions take place at intersections according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and most of them are the direct result of mistakes made by one of the drivers involved.

People often don’t monitor the roads enough or make bad assumptions

The single biggest risk for a collision at an intersection is inadequate surveillance. Research shows that roughly 44.1% of all intersection-related crashes occur because one or more drivers involved in the collision did not properly monitor their surroundings before proceeding. After all, if you don’t look to your right, you may not realize that there’s another driver already at the four-way stop intersection.

However, sometimes drivers see someone on the road and still wind up in a crash. About 8% of intersection collisions involve mistaken assumptions about the intention of another driver. Quite a few people fail to use their blinkers, which means that other drivers will be left guessing about their intention at any intersection. If you assumed someone would go straight because they did not use a turn signal and then they turn left in front of you, a collision could result.

Many intersections have traffic cameras to help in later claims

When a driver doesn’t pay attention, doesn’t come to a complete stop or doesn’t use their turn signal, they likely aren’t keen to admit that mistake to law enforcement at the scene of a crash. After all, the driver who causes the crash will likely face a ticket and increased insurance expenses. That could mean that your word and their word is the only evidence in many motor vehicle collisions.

Thankfully, intersections with traffic lights may have traffic cameras that can validate your claim about the actions of the other driver. Additionally, intersections in business districts maybe within the viewing range of nearby security cameras protecting the exterior of local businesses. Gathering evidence can help you determine if you have grounds for a claim against the other driver for their role in the collision.