According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages three through 34. About 5,811,000 motor vehicle crashes were reported nationwide in 2008, causing more than two million injuries and more than 37,000 deaths.On average, one person is killed in a motor vehicle crash every 14 minutes.
In 2001, State Farm Insurance released a list of the most dangerous intersections in the United States based on an analysis of crash information gleaned from prior years’ claims data. Since then, numerous cities and transportation watchers have compiled their own most dangerous intersections lists. These dangerous intersections are the site of crashes that kill or injure pedestrians as well as motor vehicle occupants.
CrashStat 2.0 reports dangerous locations for crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists in New York City based on New York Department of Transportation statistics. Of New York City’s dangerous intersections, E. 33rd Street and Park Avenue Southbound rated the most dangerous, with 156 crashes involving pedestrians reported between 1995 and 2005. During the same period, the intersection of Bowery and Houston Street had the most accidents involving bikes.
Detroit’s most dangerous intersection, identified by the South East Michigan Council of Governments, is 7 Mile Road East and Van Dyke Street. That intersection saw 38 car crashes in 2008.
Highway 20 and Seventh Street in Dyersville, Iowa, is considered one of the most dangerous in the state. That intersection was the scene of eight crashes, including four traffic fatalities, in the past four years.
The intersection of Routes 1 and 122 in Allingtown, Connecticut, is notorious and in need of reconfiguration, but won’t be fixed any time soon due to budgetary woes.
In Janesville, Wisconsin, 33 crashes that injured 18 people occurred at the intersection of Milton Avenue and Kettering Street in the past year, rendering it the most dangerous in the state.
The intersection of Highway 154 and Hammock Road in Newnan, Georgia, has seen 46 motor vehicle accidents in the past four years.
One of the most dangerous intersections in Alabama is located at Highways 231 and 123 in Ozark. More than 20,000 cars pass through the intersection each day. One fatality has occurred there and the area has “accident after accident,” according to Mayor Bob Bunting.
In Los Angeles, red light cameras installed in locations where red light running was causing accidents do not always generate the intended results. Critics claim the flash of light causes drivers to slam on the brakes, leading to a greater number of rear-end crashes than before the cameras’ installation. At 20 of 32 intersections with red light cameras, including the dangerous Rodeo Road and La Brea Avenue, crashes increased once the cameras were installed. At Rodeo and La Brea, the rate tripled from the six-month period prior to camera installation to the six-month period afterward.
TX-121 and Preston Road in Frisco, Texas, was named eighth-most dangerous intersection in the nation by State Farm Insurance in 2001 and is still considered dangerous by Dallas-area residents.
In the suburbs of Chicago, Elmhurst is home to the state’s most dangerous intersection at North Avenue and IL-83.