While motor vehicle crashes can (and do) happen almost anywhere, there are several intersections in the Milwaukee area that tend to see a higher number of crashes than others. According to a May 24, 2018 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there are 12 intersections, referred to as the “Dangerous Dozen,” that had the highest number of crashes in a five-year period. If you live in Milwaukee or the surrounding area, you probably travel through some of these intersections on a regular basis.
Dangerous Intersections in Milwaukee
The number one, most crash-prone intersection, according to data obtained through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, is the area where Interstate 41/Highway 45 crosses over Capitol Drive in Wauwatosa. Wayne Higgins, the president of a traffic engineering consulting firm, stated that the three-tiered nature of this particular intersection is “unusual” as three-tiered intersections are not all that common, which likely contributes to driver confusion and thus a higher volume of crashes. Higgins stated, “You’ve got the through traffic east-west, and then you have all the turning traffic one layer above, then you have the freeway section above that, so there’s plenty of opportunity for confusion by drivers.”
The intersection of I-41 and Capitol Drive had 218 crashes between 2012 and 2016 alone with a total of 87 people who reported injuries from those crashes. In reality, that number may be even greater because this number only accounts for crashes that were actually reported to the Department of Transportation. Many crashes are left unreported and are not included in the statistics.
The rest of the intersections rounding out the top 12 most crash-prone intersections in the Milwaukee area are as follows:
- I-94 and Hwy 164 in Pewaukee
- I-94 and Hwy 83 in Delafield
- W. Greenfield Ave. and Moorland Rd. in Brookfield/New Berlin
- I-94 and Moorland Rd. in Brookfield
- Port Washington Rd. and Silver Spring Dr. in Glendale
- I-94 and Hwy F in Pewaukee
- Bluemound Rd. and Barker Rd. in Brookfield
- Bluemound Rd. and Moorland Rd. in Elm Grove
- Les Paul Pkwy and E. Racine Ave. in Waukesha
- S. 108th St. and W. Lincoln Ave. in West Allis
- East Moreland Blvd. and Kossow Rd. in Waukesha
While these intersections are said to be the most crash-prone, they are also some of the busiest intersections in the Milwaukee area
The sheer volume of traffic going through these intersections on a daily basis attributes to many of the crashes. A Glendale police officer, Todd Lynch, stated that when you get a lot of traffic traveling through an area, “you are going to invite more traffic accidents.” Officer Lynch also made an interesting observation: most of the crashes are not caused by people driving recklessly, they are caused by people not paying attention.
Whether it is a cell phone, a passenger, changing the radio station, or picking up an object that fell onto the floor (only to name a few), there are countless ways drivers are becoming distracted behind the wheel nowadays. Distracted driving, especially in busy intersections, is a recipe for disaster.
One common type of intersection accident is a rear-end type collision
While rear-end crashes happen frequently and most often due to distracted driving, Delafield Police Captain Bob Hagen made an interesting observation as it pertained to the third most crash-prone intersection, which happens to be in Delafield. He noted that many rear-end collisions occur on the I-94 offramps with vehicles attempting to make a right-hand turn. The first car will pull out and the car directly behind the first car immediately pulls up and begins checking for traffic to the left. Oftentimes, the first car, upon inching out, will see an oncoming vehicle and brake to allow it to pass. Meanwhile, the second car continues moving forward while looking to the left and a rear-end collision with the first car occurs.
At the Groth Law Firm, we hear of this exact scenario happening frequently. While these are not usually high-speed impacts, they can still result in serious injuries given the way the driver’s body is positioned inside the vehicle at the moment of impact – i.e. head turned to the left looking for oncoming traffic. As drivers, we have a duty to maintain a proper lookout so as to prevent a collision or injury. Before turning to look for oncoming traffic, we cannot assume the vehicle in front of us has executed a turn simply because the vehicle began to move forward. Make sure the vehicle ahead has committed to a turn before diverting your attention elsewhere. This small act alone could decrease the volume of rear-end collisions significantly.
Four-way stops can also be dangerous because many drivers either do not recall or do not follow, the rules of the road for four-way stops
In general, the vehicle that arrives at the intersection first has the right of way. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. There are many things we can all do to make our roads a safer place. While distracted driving continues to play a large role in traffic crashes, keeping in mind the basic rules of the road may help to avoid a collision, particularly at a busy intersection.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to the distracted driving of another person, we may be able to help. The Milwaukee car accident attorneys at Groth Law Firm dedicate their practice exclusively to the representation of those injured due to the negligence of others, most often in the context of motor vehicle crashes. Our skilled, dedicated, and proven team will take the necessary steps to ensure that your rights are protected and your recovery is maximized. At the Groth Law Firm, we understand that being involved in an auto accident is overwhelming. Our goal is to take the stress off of your shoulders so that you have the time and energy to focus on what is most important, which is healing and getting your life back on track. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, call us today for a free consultation.