Traffic accident fatalities and injuries in Michigan have steadily risen for the last 5 years. One third of those fatalities and serious injuries happen in intersections.
7 Action News combed through accident reports assessing the number of crashes and the number of injuries to uncover five of the most dangerous intersections in Metro Detroit. They are all located in Macomb and Oakland counties.
At Utica and Groesbeck in Fraser, the most recent state data shows more than 70 crashes in the “X-shaped” intersection in 2015. Almost a third resulted in injury, 2 were nearly fatal.
Out of 70 crashes at the intersection of Huron (M-59) and Telegraph in Pontiac, 1 in 4 resulted in injury.
There were fewer accidents down the street at South and Woodward, just 23, but half of those resulted in injury or death.
High volumes of cars traveling at high speeds and older traffic signals are common denominators for many dangerous intersections. Solutions vary from intersection to intersection.
“You always review the signal timing, you want to make sure you're giving people enough of a yellow signal to allow them time to slow down and stop. There are changes to lane markings where you can create a protected left turn lane,” says Shaun Kildare, the Director of Research at Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
The state regularly assesses crash and injury data to decide where to make intersection improvements,
but not every area that needs help gets it.
“When you do recognize an intersection that's bad, the question is how many other ones are worse,” says Kildare. “The first issue is always budget the second issue often times is right of way."
West Bloomfield Township secured $3 million and the right of way to improve Maple and Orchard Lake.
The intersection has a crash history that includes fatalities and injuries, but as of December 2016 construction was complete.
Double left turn lanes and new larger traffic signals were added, along with additional signage to better prepare drivers for the intersection ahead. We aren’t likely to see this one on the list next year.
There’s hope on the horizon for Hall Road (M-59) and Romeo Plank in Macomb, an intersection with well over a hundred crashes, many of which end in injury.
It is basically tied when it comes to danger with both Hall & Garfield and Hall & Schoenherr.
In March, MDOT begins a 2 year, $60 million dollar makeover for that stretch of M-59 to improve traffic flow. Improvements include installing modern traffic signals, new signage and other improvements.