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Dangerous Intersections

If you were asked, you would probably never guess the location of the worst intersection in the nation. It's in Pembrook Pines, Fla., according to a new study from a major auto insurer. An accident happens there every other day.

With hundreds of crashes, two intersections along a Philadelphia roadway also rank among the three most dangerous in the country, USA Today reported in Tuesday's editions, citing a study by State Farm Insurance.

The Ten Worst
Number of accidents over a two-year stretch from Jan. 1999 through Dec. 2000:
1. Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Flamingo Road & Pines Boulevard
2. Philadelphia
Red Lion Road & Roosevelt Boulevard
3. Philadelphia
Grant Avenue & Roosevelt Boulevard
4. Phoenix
7th Street & Bell Road
5. Tulsa
51st Street & Memorial Drive
6. Tulsa
71st Street & Memorial Drive
7. Phoenix
19th Avenue & Northern Avenue
8. Frisco, Texas
State Highway 121 & Preston Road
9. Metairie, La.
Clearview Pkwy & Veterans Memorial Blvd.
10. Sacramento
Fair Oaks Boulevard & Howe Avenue
Source: State Farm Insurance
The paper cited a survey by State Farm, which concludes that Phoenix, Ariz., and Tulsa, Okla., each also have two of the nation's ten most dangerous crossroads.

Intersection collisions accounted for nearly one-fourth of all deadly crashes in 1999, USA Today reported.

Experts say much of the problem is growing populations that have overwhelmed roads designed for fewer cars.

An analyst who was part of the study also puts part of the blame on the gadgets in today's cars. From cell phones to on-board computers and entertainment systems, he says it's time to bring the "driver's attention back to the road."

Pennsylvania authorities, contacted by USA Today, said the findings did not tell the whole story about the intersections in Philadelphia, which are among the nation's busiest.

"There are 36 million cars on (the Roosevelt intersection) every year. It's one of the busiest roads in the country," state Transportation Department spokesman Andy Warren told USA Today. "Some accidents are inevitable."

Meanwhile, the intersections in the southwest named in the study were dangerous because of booming population growth and slow infrastructure improvments that did not keep pace, experts said.

"Thse places are trying to handle 21st century traffic with 1970s equipment. Something is going to give," traffic engineer Edward Moeller told the paper.

According to the insurer, here are the three major types of intersection accidents:

  • The rear-end collision seems to be the most common, probably because vehicles often are required to stop at intersections.
  • Side-impact or angle collisions, potentially serious.
  • Frontal collisions are probably the least common.

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