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N.H. Testing Out New Warning System at Intersections

Motion blur and waiting vehicles at a busy and large crossroad junction. Photographed from above.

Car accident lawyers explain how the system works and what drivers in New Hampshire need to know

New Hampshire state officials recently announced they will be testing a warning system designed to alert drivers about other vehicles entering the road in an effort to prevent intersection accidents, according to The Concord Monitor.

If the new warning system works as planned, safety officials hope there will be fewer bad car accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities in New Hampshire, something that will hopefully save many lives in the Granite State.

A driver who speeds up for a yellow traffic light or runs a red light puts other road users at risk—but how effective will a warning system be in busy intersections? How common are intersection accidents? And why do they happen so often? Below, you can find the answers to these questions and additional information about intersection accidents from attorneys with years of experience representing injury victims and their families.

How does the warning system work?

New Hampshire’s Department of Transportation recently announced that they will be installing Intersection Conflict Warning Systems this summer on three busy but smaller roads. The three intersections where the devices will be installed are located on Route 9 in Chesterfield, Route 101 in Peterborough, and Route 38 in Pelham. These three intersections were chosen because “each had limited visibility of incoming traffic from hills, obstructions or curves in the main road,” according to Mike O’Donnell, senior traffic operations engineer with the state Department of Transportation, speaking with The Concord Monitor.

The automated warning systems alert drivers that a vehicle is about to pull out onto the road. When a vehicle is about to enter the road, vehicles on the side street trigger an induction loop wire installed in the pavement. As a result, a flashing light on a sign on the main road alerts oncoming drivers to the vehicle up ahead.

How common are intersection accidents in NH?

Intersection accidents are extremely common nationwide and throughout New Hampshire. About half of all motor vehicle accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities occur at or near an intersection, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

As for New Hampshire, like many other states, there were a record number of motor vehicle fatalities in 2020, despite fewer drivers on the road due to the pandemic, according to the Union Leader.

By comparison, there were 101 fatalities overall on New Hampshire’s roads and highways in 2019. This figure includes 22 motor vehicle accident fatalities at intersections statewide in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Such fatalities occurred in the following counties in New Hampshire in 2019:

  • Belknap County – 1 intersection fatality
  • Carroll County – 1 fatality
  • Cheshire County – 1 fatality
  • Grafton County – 3 fatalities
  • Hillsborough County – 8 fatalities
  • Merrimack County – 4 fatalities
  • Rockingham County – 3 fatalities
  • Strafford County – 1 fatality

(Please note – there were no intersection fatalities in Coos County and Sullivan County in 2019.)

What are common causes of intersection accidents?

Intersection accidents often occur because one driver was behaving in a reckless or negligent manner. Specifically, intersection accidents occur due to:

  • Speeding drivers who don’t have time to slow down and avoid a collision
  • Distracted drivers who drive through an intersection and crash into another vehicle
  • Reckless or aggressive drivers who don’t stop at a stop sign or run a red light
  • Drunk drivers who are unaware that they’re approaching an intersection and crash into another vehicle
  • Tired drivers who fall asleep at the wheel and cause an accident

Whatever the circumstances of your intersection accident, make sure you take your accident seriously right from the start. Seek immediate medical attention. Then contact a lawyer right away to learn more about your legal rights.

A car accident lawyer can fight for maximum compensation

You might think you don’t need an attorney if you were injured in an intersection accident and another driver was at fault. Unfortunately, these types of cases often turn out to be complicated legal battles. The driver who caused your crash might deny doing anything wrong. Other times, it’s their insurance company that does everything they can to reduce or deny your claim. That's because they're more concerned with their bottom line than paying you appropriate compensation for your damages.

At Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A., we know what's at stake for you and your loved ones. Our law firm has years of experience handling complex legal cases throughout New Hampshire. Founded in 1870, we have a long history of helping crash victims and their families demand the money they need for their injuries. As your legal advocates, we will work tirelessly to obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

Learn more about how we can help you with your potential legal case. Contact us and schedule an appointment right now. Our law firm has offices conveniently located in Dover and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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