Driving instructor Gabriella Netsch says more than 71 percent of car crashes occur at intersections because people run red lights or don't reduce their speed. The chance for crashes is high with more cars going different directions. Using Vermont Agency of Transportation reports, one study examined which intersections are the most dangerous in the Green Mountain State.
"Half of all those deaths at the intersection happen in the first second and a half," said Netsch.
With over 40 crashes in the last three years, one website says the intersection where Route 7 meets Route 4 is the most dangerous in Vermont.
Netsch took us for a ride, along with some of her student drivers to show us why intersections can be so deadly. She says when someone has several distracting factors happening at the same time, the odds are already stacked against them as they get to the intersection.
"If somebody's in a snowstorm, and they are tired and maybe they have alcohol and maybe their wipers are out; when you start having two or three or four or five of those things not good that's when you increase your crash rate," said Netsch.
She says many accidents at intersections happen because people don't know the rules of the road.
"If two people are coming at an intersection like this, and this person needs to cross that path, the person going straight always has the right of way," said Netsch.
Other intersections in Vermont ranked on the list-
The intersection of Main and St. Paul Streets in Burlington.
Coming in at number 4, the intersection of Routes 5, 14 and 4 in Hartford.
At number three, Colchester Ave and Barrett Street in Burlington.
And number two is the multi intersection that makes up the Winooski traffic circle.
Netsch's student drivers say having the rules fresh in their minds can be frustrating because they see many drivers breaking them.
"Always texting and driving which really scares me, especially when I'm going on the road with them, because I'll see that they are not paying attention," said driving student Quinn Thomashow.
"I notice a lot of people don't stop fully at stop signs, or a lot of people don't use their blinkers and that really irritates me because I don't know which way they are going," said driving student Katherine Eldred.
Taking your time at an intersection can mean the difference between life and death.
"One thousand one, one thousand - you don't even have to get to one thousand two, just a second and a half breathe deep once, you reduce your death rate at any intersection by half," said Netsch.
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