Ashburton District Council is reminding drivers returning to work to take their time and obey intersection signs, particularly when merging into, or turning off, the State Highway.
Council's Asset Management Engineer Geoff Rhodes says intersections, especially give-way controlled intersections with busy roads, are places where the risk of crashing is high.
"While for some it might be tempting to pull into a gap, especially if in a hurry, it is easy to misjudge how quickly oncoming traffic is moving."
Between 2009 and 2013, there were 380 crashes at intersections in the Ashburton District. Of those crashes, 34 involved fatalities and serious crashes, with nine people dying and 35 seriously injured.
These intersection crashes made up 43% of the total number of road crashes in the district in the past five years, many of them occurring at the urban periphery where land use changes from rural to lifestyle.
The three most common contributing factors to all crashes in the district over the past six years have been poor observation (40%), poor handling (31%) and failure to give way/stop (26%).
"These errors have caused particularly serious consequences at intersections so we would like to remind road users to always take care."
All road users need to ensure they obey the road code, in particular the following rules:
- come to a complete stop at stop signs
- give way at intersections as required
- give way to traffic from the right at roundabouts
- allow pedestrians time to cross at pedestrian crossings.