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Intersections: Strategies for Reducing Risk

  • If you’re driving toward the intersection, take note of the pedestrian countdown clock as you approach the intersection.
  • If only a few seconds remain focused on the countdown clock, it is safe to assume that a yellow light (and two or three seconds later, a red light) will appear.
  • As you reach the intersection, take your foot off the accelerator and let your foot hover above the brake pedal so that you are prepared to stop if needed.
    • This technique is called “covering the brake.”
    • By covering the brake, you reduce your reaction time and increase the likelihood that you will stop your car before striking a hazard.
  • If the traffic light in your direction changes to green, check left, right, and left again to ensure that cross-traffic has stopped before you enter the intersection.
  • Checking for cross-traffic takes only a couple seconds, and it could help you avoid a serious “T-bone” side-impact collision.

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