Everybody believes their local intersection is the worst of all, but now there are numbers to back it up. All but one of the Top 20 intersections for auto accidents in 2015 were located in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County (Washtenaw had one intersection listed). The list, compiled by the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit listed Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway in Commerce Township, a large roundabout, as the intersection with the most crashes (186) in 2015. The list defines intersections as “any road with a traffic signal, four-way stop or roundabout.”
According to a news release from the Michigan Auto Law firm, almost “30% of all Michigan car crashes and a staggering 26% of fatalities are stemming from just 20 intersections.” Patterns have consistently shown that areas with high traffic volumes see higher crash rates than less busy intersections. One of the reasons Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway in Commerce Township saw a steady increase in traffic in 2015 was the closure of Haggerty Road in the area, for construction.
Craig Bryson, a spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County, doesn’t necessarily agree with the characterization of the county’s roads being “dangerous”. “Any time anyone puts a list together, there will inevitably be a ‘No. 1.’ That doesn’t necessarily mean that intersection is ‘dangerous.’ It just means it has slightly more crashes than other intersections. Essentially, this is a list of the busiest intersections in the state. It simply makes sense that intersections with the most traffic will have the most crashes,” Bryson said in an email to the Detroit Free Press.
Bryson also believes that it would be more effective and accurate to use crash rate statistics, which considers the number of crashes compared to traffic volume. “For example, if an intersection that carries 100,000 vehicles per day has 100 crashes per year, it may not b e as ‘dangerous’ as an intersection that carries 5,000 cars per day but has 50 crashes a year. The second intersection has fewer total crashes, but the likelihood of getting in a crash is far greater,” Bryson explained.
Interestingly enough, there was not a single intersection from Detroit listed. “It is likely due to several factors, although safer drivers in the City of Detroit is not one of them. What is more likely is that there continues to be under-reporting of car accidents, especially with approximately 50% of Detroiters driving without mandatory auto insurance,” the release noted. Other reasons for a Detroit absence includes lower traffic volume and lower speed limits in more urban areas.
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) released figures showing that the number of fatal traffic crashes in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties has increased for five consecutive years, with 387 traffic fatalities in 2015. When looking for solutions, SEMCOG Executive Director Kathleen Lomako believes that “to stem the needless loss of life in our region, we must take a broad approach to improving the safety of our transportation system and to making small but potentially life-saving changes to our personal behavior.”
TOP 20 MOST DANGEROUS INTERSECTIONS
- Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway, Commerce Township (186)
- Telegraph Road and 12 Mile Road, Southfield (132)
- 11 Mile Road and Van Dyke Ave, Warren/Center Line (131)
- 18 ½ Mile Road and Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights (124)
- I-75 and Big Beaver Road, Troy (124)
- Ford Road and Haggerty Road, Canton Township (116)
- State Road and Ellsworth Road, Ann Arbor/Pittsfield (114)
- Hall Road and Schoeherr Road (111)
- Metro Parkway and Mound Road, Sterling Heights (102)
- Southfield Road and 11 Mile Road, Lathrup VIllage (102)
- Hall Road and Romeo Plank, Clinton Township/Macomb (94)
- Orchard Lake Road and Maple Road, West Bloomfield (92)
- Big Beaver Road and Rochester Road, Troy (92)
- Ford Road and Lilley Road, Canton (89)
- 11 Mile Road and Gratiot Ave, Roseville (88)
- Metro Parkway and Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights (84)
- Farmington Road and Maple Road, West Bloomfield (84)
- 12 Mile Road and Mound Road, Warren (83)
- Garfield Road and Hall Road, Clinton Township (82)
- Dix Highway and M-39/Southfield Freeway, Lincoln Park (80)
Heavy traffic is nothing new to the residents of Metro Detroit, but the threat of a traffic accidents looms everyday for drivers on the road. Traffic accidents can cause minor bumps and bruises or severe and long lasting injuries. Our attorneys understand the challenges that can come from being injured in an auto accident, including finding a way to pay for medical bills as well as wage loss. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident and are looking for help, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.