What are the 5 Most Dangerous Intersections in the Phoenix Area?
5 Most Dangerous Intersections
The five most dangerous intersections across the Valley are located in Phoenix. Using crash data collected between 2016 and 2020, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) ranked intersections in terms of their overall crash risks. Here are the top five most dangerous intersections and an explanation for why these intersections might be so dangerous.
- 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road, Phoenix – 353 crashes. This intersection contains a roundabout and is wider than usual. Heavy traffic dominates this area, which contains a number of businesses and access to housing developments, leading to frequent traffic accidents.
- 75th Avenue and Indian School Road, Phoenix – 258 crashes. This intersection has a much older design and lacks many of today’s typical safety features, such as a lagging yellow arrow for left turns, a signal above each lane, and a pedestrian walk button.
- 67th Avenue and McDowell Road, Phoenix –245 crashes. This intersection draws commuters from multiple areas looking to avoid the interstate. Unfortunately, these commuters rarely slow down for the residential traffic that also exists at this intersection.
- 67th Avenue and Indian School Road, Phoenix –269 crashes. This intersection is located in a dense residential area for both homes and apartments. During rush hours, the area becomes extremely congested. After schools let out, students returning home also fill the roads leading up to this intersection.
- 51st Avenue and McDowell Road, Phoenix –209 crashes. This intersection also is located just south of the interstate, which combines commuters with heavy residential traffic. This combination often leads to crashes.
MAG ranks the severity of the danger at each intersection using different data to assign a Weighted Intersection Safety Score (ISS) to each intersection. ISS is based on the following criteria:
- 25% Crash Frequency Score, or the ratio of the crash frequency at the intersection to the highest intersection crash frequency for the region
- 50% Crash Severity Score, or the ratio of the crash severity value for the intersection to the maximum crash severity value for the region
- 25% Crash Type Score, or the ratio between the CT cost at the intersection to maximum CT cost at all intersections in the region
As a result of this methodology, some intersections that saw fewer crashes than others still may have a higher ISS and thus be ranked as more dangerous intersections.
MAG regularly studies intersections for their level of danger and the need for potential improvements for a specific reason. According to MAG, regional crash statistics show that 60% of traffic-related injuries and 40% of fatalities occur at intersections. Therefore, improving safety conditions at intersections can go a long way toward decreasing traffic injuries, both fatal and non-fatal.
Arizona Crash Facts
Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) sheds further light on the necessity of upgrading and improving safety at intersections. In 2020, ADOT reported over 98,000 vehicle crashes in the state. Over 85,000 of those crashes, or almost 87%, occurred in urban areas like Phoenix. Likewise, over 60% of the fatal crashes in Arizona occurred in urban areas.
More than 71,000 crashes occurred in Maricopa County alone, leading to over 28,000 injuries and almost 500 deaths in 2020. Over 65,000 of those crashes involved collisions with another motor vehicle, about 9,200 involved collisions with fixed objects, and almost 5,000 involved collisions with non-fixed objects, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and electric scooters.
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