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Accidents can happen anywhere, but some stretches of road pose greater danger than others. A recent study by DataScience analyzed data gathered from November, 2014 to October, 2015, by the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.

Chances are, you already know that these intersections – arranged from the most dangerous down — are the sites for many serious and fatal traffic accidents.

The dangerous 10

1. Imperial Hwy. and Vista Del Mar (Dockweiler Beach), Los Angeles

2. Van Nuys Blvd. and Roscoe Blvd., Panorama City

3. S. Western Ave. and W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles

4. Roscoe Blvd. and Lennox Ave., Panorama City

5. La Cienega and W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles

6. S. Western Ave. and W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles

7. Victory Blvd. and Reseda Blvd., Reseda

8. Roscoe Blvd. and Langdon Ave., Los Angeles

9. Crenshaw Blvd. and W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles

10. Van Nuys Blvd and Oxnard St., Van Nuys

Why crashes happen

A University of Kentucky study looked at more than 19,000 crashes at 7,000 different intersections nationwide, trying to understand what made these intersections such hot spots. They concluded that:

  • The number of lanes is a factor – the more lanes, the more confusion.
  • The volume of traffic, not surprisingly, is a factor – sleepy intersections are always safer.
  • City intersections are more dynamic than rural ones.
  • Intersections where the lanes are separated by barriers tend to be safer. Undivided four-lane roads saw higher crash rates than four-lane roads that were divided.

Other factors include confusing signals and signage, sight-lines, multiple turn options, whether the highway is a truck route, and whether there are distracting features such as billboards, geographical peculiarities such as roadways narrowed by cliffs, landmarks, etc.

The next question is, why haven’t these intersections been redesigned to make them safer? Highway engineers are always working to move these numbers down through design and rerouting. But it is a problem when traffic flow is on the increase from year to year, as is true in nearly every part of Southern California. Roads can’t be widened indefinitely.

Too many people

In the end these intersections are dangerous because so many people want to be on these roads. Our caution to you is to be thinking about these and other dangerous areas. Slow down, pay close attention, and stay alive.

SOURCES: Curbed, DataScience, SWITRS – Internet Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System