Traffic deaths in Austin are moving towards a record high in 2015. Currently, 1986 holds the record as the year with the highest number of deaths at 81. There have already been 81 deaths recorded this year, with months still remaining. In an attempt to lessen the mortality risk, Austin is spending $3.8 million to improve five of the city’s most dangerous intersections.
These intersections were responsible for 250 accidents and one death between 2012 and 2014. While these improvements are aimed at enhancing safety, it is always important to be cautious. Below is a list of the five most dangerous intersections in Austin and some tips on how you can stay safe when driving through them:
1. West Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road
This intersection has averaged 25 collisions per year, with 15 involving serious injuries. Motorists coming out of the shopping centers here must turn across four lanes of traffic to go left on Manchaca. In July of 2015, a woman died at this intersection in a crash involving nine cars.
How to Stay Safe: When leaving the shopping centers, go right onto Manchaca or use a different intersection protected by a traffic light. Turning left across southbound traffic lanes can be dangerous.
2. Lamar Blvd and Rundberg Lane
Drivers come out of the shopping center here and often try to make unprotected left turns onto Lamar. This intersection has generated an average of 41 collisions per year over the past three years.
How to Stay Safe: Do not turn left onto Lamar. Turn right and find a turnaround point or intersection with a traffic light that allows you to turn left.
3. Lamar Blvd and Parmer Lane
Crashes occur here because drivers do not adequately reduce speed when coming off the interstate. They cannot see around the right turn curve, and when they realize there is traffic, they stop suddenly – causing rear-end accidents. Over the past three years, there has been an average of 33 collisions here, with 19 involving serious injuries.
How to Stay Safe: Reduce your speed when coming off the highway, and do not assume there is no traffic around the right turn curve. By braking slowly, you will force cars behind you to do the same.
4. US 183 Service Road and Cameron Road
This intersection experiences heavy congestion during rush hours, resulting in aggressive driving and red-light running. There has been an average of 24 collisions per year here, with 12 involving serious injuries.
How to Stay Safe: Aggressive driving is not worth the risk. If the light turns red, stop. Keep in mind that your safety is more important than a few minutes of your time.
5. IH 35 Service Road Southbound and Martin Luther King
Accidents here are caused by cars crossing lanes to MLK from the frontage road. Only one of the four southbound service lanes goes through the intersection, while the other three turn right or left. Conflicts arise when drivers try to move into the straight lane and avoid turning. There has been an average of 25 collisions per year, 14 with serious injuries.
How to Stay Safe: If you find yourself in the wrong lane, do not block traffic or drive through other lanes to go straight. Make the turn, and find a place to flip around, or take an alternate route.
The City of Austin is working to improve these intersections and make them safer, but it is always important to remain aware on the road. Never drive aggressively, and watch out for other drivers who do. Nobody wants to be in an accident, but getting on the road is always a risk. If you have been injured in an accident in the Austin area, contact us today.