Driving Through Metro Detroit’s Most Dangerous Intersections
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports more than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. Whether you are a driver, passenger, cyclist, pedestrian or anyone else who uses Metro Detroit roads, several intersections in the area have been described as the worst. These intersections are home to the most common crashes often creating severe consequences and traumatic injuries for those involved. Michigan State Police show these most dangerous intersections last year (2016), ranked by total crashes:
Top 10 Most Dangerous Metro Detroit Intersections:
- Madison Heights at 12 Mile and Dequindre
- Canton Township at Ford and Lilly
- Farmington Hills at Orchard Lake and 12 Mile
- Canton Township Ford at Haggerty
- Lathrup Village at Southfield and 11 Mile
- Farmington Hills at Orchard Lake and 14 Mile
- Westland at Ford and Wayne
- Waterford Township at Crescent Lake and Highland
- Sterling Heights at 15 Mile and Ryan
- Shelby Township at 23 Mile and Schoenherr
Knowing how to minimize your chance of a crash at one of these intersections starts with understanding what makes an intersection crossing dangerous.
What Makes an Intersection Dangerous
Like most accidents, intersection wrecks can be prevented if more drivers followed some simple rules. Here is a review of the most common reasons accidents occur at the cross section of roads.
- Driver error causes most intersection accidents. These are poor choices caused by drivers who are impatient and in a hurry, speeding. In fact, an estimated 165,000 accidents occur annually in intersections caused by red light runners. There are also careless and distracted drivers, those who are aggressive, sleepy or drowsy, and drivers who are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Side impacts and T-bone collisions are more common at intersections and have higher rates of deaths and serious injuries than other accidents. This is because there is little vehicle protective structure to safeguard passengers. Side impacts and T-bone collisions are typically the result of a driver making a poor driving decision.
- Rear-end collisions are also common and mostly caused by distracted drivers.
- Hit vehicles can be pushed into oncoming traffic or into other close lanes, causing secondary collisions and risking the safety of other roadway users.
- If an intersection accident vehicle is hit and pushed out of its lane, the occupants may be ejected or collide with electric or telephone poles, buildings, traffic signage or even pedestrians.
- Some intersection collisions in Metro Detroit have been so strong, a vehicle can be rolled over completely, crushing the driver and passengers.
- Every year, the Federal Highway Administration reports approximately 2.5 million intersection accidents. Most of these crashes involve left turns.
Common injuries that intersection accident victims may suffer include traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, knee and feet injuries, whiplash injuries from being thrown forward and backward in the vehicle, seatbelt rash, severe burns and bone fractures. Sadly, some 20 percent of fatal collisions occur in intersections.
Drive Smart, Stay Aware
It’s imperative Michigan drivers become more aware of their surroundings when driving through these intersections and make good choices on how to drive more patiently with the safe intersection driving lessons outlined below.
- Start by making sure you are in the correct lane before you reach the intersection.
- As you approach an intersection, check for stop lights, signs, turning lanes, one-way signs, construction signs, pedestrians, crosswalks, and bicycle lanes.
- Know your “blind spots” but also those of the other drivers. Stay out of them.
- Always utilize your turn signal well before your turn.
- Avoid distractions. There can be several types of distractions that can hinder a driver’s performance but using your cell phone and texting while driving are still huge problems. Under Michigan’s anti-texting law (sec. 257.602.b) a driver shall not “read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state.”
- Pay attention to brake lights and allow for plenty of space behind the vehicle in front of you. Stay even further behind large vehicles like the DDOT bus or city vehicles that may not be able to see you.
- Be aware of keeping your actions predictable and your intentions clear to other drivers.
- Keep your foot firmly on the brake while you wait to cross or turn at an intersection. When stopping at an intersection, stop at the painted line or behind the curb. Stay aware.
- If a traffic light is out, the right of way goes to the driver who reaches the intersection first and proceeds to each driver to the right in succession. If you are confused, let the other drivers go first.
- If you are following another car at a stop sign, wait two seconds after they have proceeded to begin accelerating. Do this to prevent a rear-end collision accident in the event that they stop suddenly.
- Never intentionally run or coast through a stop sign, even if it appears that there is no one else entering the intersection.
- If there is a roundabout on your route, and you are confused, take another route to avoid it for now but become educated on how to navigate roundabouts.
- Never change lanes in the middle of an intersection. Not only is it illegal, but it is very dangerous.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and always buckle up.
If everyone followed some of these driving lessons, Metro Detroit could see improvements in accidents rates. With that said, courteous driving will remain to be the most important measure toward improving the city’s problem intersections. Have you experienced an accident at any of these dangerous Metro Detroit intersections? Do you have other areas you would add to the list?
Schedule a Free Consultation
Working with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve can be frustrating and confusing. They often like to shift some or all of the blame for the accident to the injured plaintiff. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help. Please call Lee Free and speak to our car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your car accident case.