Skipping Stop Signs Part I

July 15, 2004 -- Posted 5:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- We're keeping an eye out on the road for you Region 8 in a two part special report.

Statistics show about 1/4 of all fatal crashes in the country happen at intersections, and often times people unknowingly run red lights or skip stop signs.

On a sunny afternoon a few months ago in Jonesboro Shari Brown got quite a scare on her way to Church; now she has painful memories.

"I have had some severe neck pain and back pain and it initially radiated down my shoulders and my arms but that much has healed so far," said Brown.

Not far enough. Shari continues to see a chiropractor every week.

"When I got out of the van I knew that I was hurting," said Brown.

Shari was the victim of an accident at an intersection. She was stopped at a red light on Nettleton and Main Street when a vehicle hit her from behind. Shari says the driver admitted to not having paid close attention because she was busy on her cellphone.

So why does Shari want to tell her story?

"I think it's very important that people are aware of the danger at an intersection and they need to be more mindful of what is going on, whether they are young drivers or have been driving for 30 or 40 years they have to be careful," said Brown.

According to State Farm Insurance Company, insurance costs keep rising due to the high number of crashes at intersections each year. The data goes on to show approximately 1/3 of all crashes happen at intersections, or 4 million annually. Crashes are the leading cause of death for children over a year old.

"The greater majority of traffic accidents are preventable, but we must all take personal responsibility and prepare ourselves whenever we are riding on the road," said Ben Ford with State Farm. "We get accustomed to driving and not paying attention because we do it so much, but we all have to be mindful because it is a leading cause of death in a child."

So how do you stack up when taking it to the streets? Do you know the rules at intersections, or do you make skipping stop signs a habit?