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Traffic Operations

Right Angle Crashes#

Right angle crashes involve vehicles traveling on perpendicular streets when one driver fails to yield the right of way to the other.

63% of Right Angle crashes in Fort Collins occur at unsignalized intersections. The majority occur after a driver stops at a STOP sign but then proceeds when it is unsafe to do so.

Diagram of vehicle hitting another at a right angle

Common Causes of Right Angle Crashes#

Limited Sight Distance#

Image of intersection with limited sight for oncoming vehicles

Tip for Motorists:

  • Pull slowly forward far enough to see past sight obstructions. Dont assume it is clear. Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists in crosswalks before pulling forward.

Unsafe Behavior at Busy Cross Street#

Image of intersection

This crash most commonly occurs due to crossing or making a left turn from a stop at a busy cross street.

Tip for Motorists:

  • Be patient, don't take risks due to long delays.
  • Consider turning right instead of left if your patience is wearing thin.
  • Plan alternate routes to avoid difficult intersections.

Running a Red Light#

Red light running at signalized intersections accounts for 28% of right-angle crashes in Fort Collins.

Tip for Motorists:

  • Anticipate the end of a green light. Let off the accelerator and prepare to stop.
  • Rain and snow increase stopping distances. Adjust your speed accordingly when approaching traffic signals.
  • If you are stopped at a red light waiting when the light turns green look left and right for red light runners before proceeding.
  • Entering the intersection just as the red light starts or pushing the yellow light has serious safety implications. It is always unsafe to enter an intersection on a red light - even just a second or two after it turns red. See the Approach Turn Crash page for a discussion of this issue.

Right Turn Vehicle Shadows Through Vehicle#

Diagram of vehicle turning right blocking another vehicle's vision

Tips for Motorists:

  • Don't assume the through lanes are clear if your view is blocked by a right-turning vehicle. Wait for the right turning driver to make their turn to ensure adequate visibility