Where would you say the most dangerous roads in the greater Indianapolis area are located?
Everyone has their guesses, of course. But a couple of recent studies spotlight both the most dangerous areas for pedestrians and the most dangerous intersections/stretches of roads for accidents. Not only that, a continuing study at the state level lists several dangerous areas, many of them local to us. INDOT’s Five Percent Report catalogs locations all over Indiana that account for more than five percent of all fatal or serious-injury crashes for the three previous years prior to the reporting year.
Watch Out While Out Walking
According to local area police, more than 80 people died over a five-year period in over 1,100 crashes that involved pedestrians. Now, a group called Health by Design has come up with a list of the 10 most dangerous intersections or areas for pedestrians in Indianapolis. They’ve also made some suggestions for improvements to reduce automobile-pedestrian accidents, including repairing or replacing sidewalks, adding sidewalks where none are now, repainting crosswalks for visibility, and retiming the signals pedestrians use, to give them more time to cross the street. Health by Design’s Kim Irwin noted, “There are literally hundreds of things that can improve pedestrian safety.”
The top 10 most dangerous intersections/places in our area are (in no particular order):
- West 86th Street between Michigan and Harcourt Roads.
- West 34th and 38th Streets, from Moller Road west to I-465.
- West 38th Street between Boulevard Place and Meridian Street.
- East 38th Street from the State Fairgrounds to Sherman Avenue.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Street from 25th to 30th Streets.
- Meridian and Illinois Streets from 14th to 34th Streets.
- West 10th Street from Tibbs Avenue to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.
- East 10th Street from Woodruff Place to Arlington Avenue.
- West Washington St. from I-465 to Holt Road.
- East Washington Street from Willard Park to Arlington Avenue.
Top Vehicular Crash Sites in Indianapolis
The latest list of all the locations with the most crashes in the metro area can be seen here. It comes courtesy of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD). We urge you to familiarize yourself with the list so that you can take extra care in these areas. However, some of the locations that are most well-known for crashes are:
- 82nd Street and Allisonville Road (this intersection has appeared on crash lists more than once)
- Emerson Avenue, especially where it intersects Thompson Road, Southport Road, I-465, and Main Street
- East Street and Thompson Road (various Thompson Road locations often appear on such lists)
- I-465 and US 31/Meridian Street.
Of course, regardless of how much an intersection/area is fixed or redone, driving habits contribute heavily to accident statistics. Distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving, and speeding are top causes of crashes.
The Five Percenters
Indiana’s Five Percent Report for 2012, prepared by INDOT, provides insight into the roadway areas of our state that continue to be accident hot spots, year after year. The latest report, compiled from accident data throughout Indiana during 2009, 2010, and 2011, enables INDOT to pinpoint areas that need the most help, repair, and funds. We’ve spotlighted some likely repeats of areas where accidents historically have been a problem. MP means milepost, otherwise known as a mile marker.
- I-465 (MP 32.64 to 32.87): an area roughly two miles east of US 31/Meridian Street
- East Thompson Road from US 31 to Camden Street
- South Emerson Avenue and East Southport Road (0.39 miles east of I-65)
- East Southport Road from US 31 to South East Street
- Allisonville Road at Kessler Boulevard (approximately 3.43 miles SW of I-465)
- Ramp from northbound Allisonville Road onto I-465, MP 35.32.
What Can I Do?
You, as a responsible driver, can do a great deal to prevent accidents at these known hot spots. Where stretches of road are implicated in frequent accidents, pay attention and slow down. Remember, the most common causes of accidents are distraction, impairment due to alcohol, drugs, or tiredness, aggression or impatience, and speeding.
Intersections pose challenges, because they can range from complex interchanges that include high-speed roads, to simple, “plus-sign” crossroads. A number of factors can be at play when it comes to collisions in intersections, including these: traffic violations such as running red lights; making turns without sufficiently checking for oncoming traffic or pedestrians; driver inexperience with complicated interchanges; and other causes, such as distraction and speeding, which have already been mentioned.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s figures show that roughly 40 percent of all crashes in the U.S., and 21 percent of all deadly crashes, occur at intersections. Intersection accidents can be some of the most deadly ones, involving either head-on crashes, offset crashes (partial head-ons), or T-bone collisions, also known as broadside collisions. All of these kinds of accidents can result in serious injury or death, so we hope you’ll consider the following suggestions when it comes to driving through dangerous intersections or stretches of roads.
- Drive defensively! Assume that the other guy might not obey traffic signals or yield the right of way. Cars may come rushing through the tail end of a yellow light, might not stop for a red light, or might “jump the green light,” so be prepared.
- Take special care during times of reduced visibility such as dawn and dusk, and during nighttime hours.
- Pay strict attention to all road signs and lane markers.
- Always come to a full stop at stop signs and red lights.
- Slow down and exercise caution at blind intersections.
- Always use your turn signals.
- Remember turning right on red is permissible only if there is no traffic coming. Right-on-red is not a “right.”
- Watch for pedestrians. They could be approaching from any direction.