Pedestrian and road intersections are critical to connecting people who are traveling from one route to another. However, the area where roads and paths intersect often creates dangerous points. A recent list reports that out of Michigan’s 20 most dangerous intersections, nearly 75% of them are in Detroit. A significant number of Michigan accidents occur at these intersections. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) explained that enhancing intersection safety is one of the best ways to prevent serious and fatal accidents.
The FHWA Safety Program focuses on addressing the three main factors contributing to these accidents: conflict point, vehicle speed, and collision angle. The main conflict points are where the vehicles merge, diverge or cross. These accidents usually involve accidents between two vehicles, vehicles with pedestrians, and vehicles with cyclists. A majority of accidents are caused by displaced left-turns on quadrant highways. Next, vehicle speed plays a significant role in accidents; the amount of energy a car exerts during a crash can drastically impact the severity of an accident. Finally, collision angle also impacts crash severity; traditional intersections present more opportunities to collide at dangerous angles.
Michigan’s most dangerous intersections occur at 18 ½ Mile and Van Dyke Avenue in Sterling Heights. This location is the site of about five accidents every two weeks. Additionally, 11 Mile/Interstate 696 and Van Dyke Avenue, U.S. 131 and Wealthy Street, Martin Parkway and Pontiac Trail, and Schoolcraft Road and Telegraph Road, were the top five locations for intersection accidents in the state. A startling 587 accidents occurred at these locations, accounting for nearly 100 injuries.