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    Intersections of roads are extremely dangerous Print

    According section 2, article 102 of the Road Traffic Safety Regulations , when driving to an intersection without traffic lights or the traffic lights are malfunctioning and don't have traffic directors, cars on the main road shall have the right of way. When there are no signs, markings, or traffic lights to determine the main and side roads, cars on the multi-lane road shall have the right of way. When the two roads have the same number of lanes, cars making a turn shall grant the right of way to cars going straight forward. When cars on the two roads are both going straight forward or making a turn, the car on the right shall have the right of way. However, when the traffic is heavy, all cars shall stop at the stop line and yield to other cars before taking turns to go.

     

    Making temporary stops at uncontrolled intersections is very important for insuring driving safety. However, Taiwanese people usually tend to hurry to go and do not obey the traffic laws. As a result, accidents happen a lot at intersections.

     

    Here, I would like to raise a few questions for all of you to contemplate.

    1. 1.Has anyone received a ticket from the police in Taiwan for not making a temporary stop at an intersection?
    2. 2.When you are at an uncontrolled intersection, do you know whether you are the car on the right or left? Who has the right of way?

    When trying to decide who is at fault in a car accident, drivers often argue, “I did flash my headlights”, or “I honked”, but does either of this mean that the other party should have yielded to you? Or, does the car managing to go into the intersection faster have the right of way? Driving on the road in Taiwan is as dangerous as fighting to survive in a jungle. However, people’s luck runs out at some point. Once an accident happens, there is a big price to pay. Therefore, enforcing the laws is critical. The police should try to first educate the public about traffic regulations, give warning tickets, and finally impose penalties based on videos recorded at intersections. This way, people will gradually learn to abide by the laws. People used to often ignore the laws and take shoulders on the highway, but after years of efforts by the police to carry out the related regulations seriously, cases of this violation have decreased by a lot.

     

    Moreover, I suggest construction such as setting up traffic lights and signs, or painting markings at intersections to tell drivers if they have the right of way or they have to yield to other cars there at the moment. In other words, drivers do not have to figure out whether their cars are on the right or left, or on the main or side road. Regarding this matter, the authorities concerned should try to amend relevant regulations and put up all constructions soon. Then after a period of promotion of the amended regulations, the police should actually carry them out. It will take a while before our citizens understand the significance of new laws and start to obey them, so long time commitment is required in order to reduce accidents at intersections.

     

    According to a study conducted by my undergraduate students years back, one third of cars did not slow down and even sped up when they were passing by an uncontrolled intersection of a main or side road.

     

    The following tables show the driving speeds of cars at 30 meters before the stop line and when passing the stop line at intersections of main and side roads. These numbers were acquired with speed guns. In this study, speeds of 100 cars and scooters were measured, the average speed when passing the stop line was 31kph, a mere decrease by 4.1 kph of the speed 30 meters before. About 33% of these cars did not slow down. This can explain why there are so many accidents at intersections.

     

    Section 2, article 102 of the Road Traffic Safety regulations

     

    speed at 30 meters before stop line (kph)

    speed on stop line (kmp)

    speed difference (kph)

    average

    35.24

    31.14

    -4.1

    median

    34

    33

    -3

    standard deviation

    7.30

    10.54

    8.84

    maximum

    59

    57

    11(speed up)

    minimum

    19

    0

    -39

    maximum speed difference

    40

    57

    50

    number of vehicles

    100

    100

    100

    number of cars not slowing down

    33

    ratio of cars not slowing down

    33%

    correlation coefficient between speeds at 30 meters before stop line and on stop line

    0.5604

    correlation coefficient between speeds at 30 meters before stop line and speed difference

     

    -0.1574

     

    Situations at uncontrolled intersections are similar. The average speed pass the stop line is 27.93 kph. Some 32% of these 100 vehicles did not slow down.

     

     

    speed at 30 meters before stop line (kph)

    speed on stop line (kmp)

    speed difference (kph)

    average

    31.67

    27.93

    -3.74

    median

    31

    28

    -2.5

    standard deviation

    6.83

    7.87

    6-75

    maximum

    49

    43

    9(speed up)

    minimum

    18

    0

    -33

    maximum speed difference

    31

    43

    42

    number of vehicles

    100

    100

    100

    number of cars not slowing down

    32

    ratio of cars not slowing down

    32%

    correlation coefficient between speeds at 30 meters before stop line and on stop line

    0.5857

    correlation coefficient between speeds at 30 meters before stop line and speed difference

    -0.3284

     

    With a supposed reaction time of 1.5 seconds, if a car needs to stop suddenly when passing by the intersection at the speed of 31kph, it will continue to go 17.95 meters before coming to a complete stop. As a result, it is safer to first stop and then drive at an uncontrolled intersection. That is to say, it does not matter if your car is on the right or left, stopping first will ensure your safety when another does not follow the rules.

     

    Intersections of roads are extremely dangerous because it is where all cars gather. To ensure driving safety, slow down when approaching the intersection. Moreover, make a brief stop when you are on a side road to an intersection and at an uncontrolled intersection.

    The following are some pictures of not stopping at intersections. All of us should learn from these fatal mistakes.

    • At the intersection of a main road and a side road, cars on the main road have the right of way.
    • When two cars are both on main roads, the one on the right has the right of way.
    • Turning cars should give the right of way to cars going straight down.
    • The above rules are for uncontrolled intersections. At intersections with traffic lights, please drive according to the lights.