The amount of accidents and fatalities that have occurred at the new Gray bypass in Jones County is truly tragic and incredibly alarming. It’s always terrible when something that is meant to be a convenience and an improvement to an area causes devastation. Intersections are already a major source of accidents for drivers, accounting for up to 40% of all fatal crashes. However, an intersection like this that doesn’t force drivers coming from all directions to stop can be even worse.
As of Monday, February 13, the Georgia Department of Transportation was installing stop signs to temporarily convert the Gray bypass, which intersects with Eatonton Highway, to a four-way stop, with traffic lights likely coming later on as a permanent solution. While this should help, it is saddening that it has taken multiple deaths to prompt this change.
Tips for Safely Navigating Intersections Like the Gray Bypass
Use the following tips to protect yourself from potential accidents around intersections:
Approaching an Intersection
When you approach an intersection, scan all roadways that connect at the intersection so that you can see if other vehicles are approaching. Even if you have the right of way, never assume that a driver is going to yield or obey the traffic laws.
Four-Way Stop Intersections
At four-way stop intersections utilizing only stop signs, the general rule is that the driver who arrived at their stop sign first may proceed first. Always proceed with extreme caution and do not assume that this rule will always be followed.
Count to Three
Even with traffic lights, drivers must always be alert. Follow the “count to three” rule when your light turns green and look both ways before you proceed – this can help you avoid reckless drivers who try to squeeze through as their light is changing from yellow to red.
The common theme for these tips is to always drive defensively and never assume that other drivers will be careful or adhere to traffic laws. Use extreme caution, stay alert, and be safe not just at the Gray bypass, but anywhere on the road!