Prevent a Chicago Car Crash With S.T.O.P. – Not Just a Word on a Sign

February 14, 2014

Residential neighborhoods outside of a downtown setting are an ideal place for many individuals to live in. You may be one of these people. Sidewalks, bright streetlights, large yards, and tree-lined streets draw families with children, empty nesters looking for a quieter place to live, or even the individual looking for the benefits of city living with a small-town feel.

If you’ve noticed, there typically aren’t stoplights in residential neighborhoods to control traffic. Usually these intersections feature stop signs or yield signs to indicate right-of-way for motorists. Usually, in residential neighborhoods, there isn’t a need for traffic lights to direct traffic safely. However, more than 700,000 stops sign-related car accidents still happen each year across the country. In many situations, these accidents can be avoided when motorists exercise a little extra caution on the road.

Remembering S.T.O.P. Could Help You Avoid a Car Accident

  • S – Safe Distance.  Keep a safe distance between your car and any car in front of you when approaching a stop sign intersection.  A good rule is to always look for the rear wheels of the car in front of you. If you can’t see them, you’re too close!
  • T – The Painted Line Matters. Look for a painted line at the intersection. This line is meant to serve as a guide for drivers. If you stop at or before this line, you should ensure that the front end of your vehicle does not protrude into the intersection. Otherwise, your efforts to stop might be too late when cross traffic comes your way.
  • O – Oncoming Traffic. Oncoming cross traffic can be hidden or difficult to see because other objects obstruct your view. For intersections that are only a two-way stop, ease into the intersection slowly to give yourself extra time to respond to traffic you might not see immediately.
  • P – Pause a few seconds. A significant number of stop sign crashes are rear-end collisions. Avoid a car crash by waiting a few seconds if there’s a car in front of you at the stop sign. Don’t move forward the second that they do. They may still stop before fully entering the intersection.



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