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The top 20 most dangerous Michigan intersections

Our attorneys share the top 20 intersections with the highest numbers of motor vehicle accidents

Close to 30% of all Michigan car crashes and a staggering 26% of fatalities are stemming from just 20 intersections. Today, our attorneys are sharing this list so motorists can use extra caution when driving around these areas.

This is the latest data available from 2015, on the top 20 most dangerous Michigan intersections.  “Most dangerous” is defined as those intersections with the most car accidents. Our attorneys worked with and would like to extend our thanks to the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit, which collects motor vehicle accident reports from local law enforcement to identify what intersections had the most overall number of automobile accidents. “Intersection” is defined below as any road with a traffic signal, four-way stop or roundabout.

The Top 20 intersections* in Michigan with the highest number of car accidents  – 2015

Rank Intersection Total Crashes
1 Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway
Commerce Township, Oakland County
186
2 Telegraph Road and 12 Mile Road
Southfield, Oakland County
132
3 11 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue
Warren/Center Line, Macomb County
131
4 18 ½ Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue
Sterling Heights, Macomb County
124
5 I-75 and Big Beaver Road
Troy, Oakland County
124
6 Ford Road and Haggerty Road
Canton Township, Wayne County
116
7 State Road and Ellsworth Road
Ann Arbor/Pittsfield Township, Washtenaw County
114
8 Hall Road and Schoenherr Road
Shelby Township, Macomb County
111
9 Metropolitan Parkway and Mound Road
Sterling Heights, Macomb County
102
10 Southfield Road and 11 Mile Road
Lathrup Village, Oakland County
102
11 Hall Road and Romeo Plank Road
Clinton Township/Macomb, Macomb County
94
12 Orchard Lake Road and Maple Road
West Bloomfield Township, Oakland County
92
13 Big Beaver Road and Rochester Road
Canton Township, Wayne County
92
14 Ford Road and Lilley Road
Canton Township, Wayne County
89
15 11 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue
Roseville, Macomb County
88
16 Metropolitan Parkway and Van Dyke Avenue
Sterling Heights, Macomb County
84
17 Farmington Road and Maple Road
West Bloomfield Township, Oakland County
84
18 12 Mile Road and Mound Road
Warren, Macomb County
83
19 Garfield Road and Hall Road
Clinton Township, Macomb County
82
20 Dix Highway and M-39/Southfield Freeway
Lincoln Park, Wayne County
80

– Source: Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit

– Note: 2015 data is still considered preliminary

* Intersections include any accident that occurred within 250 of any intersection including turnarounds and on/off ramps to highways.

Before our lawyers dive into some of the specific intersections and why there are so many crashes in these locations, please keep in mind, this list includes total number of automobile accidents, including fender benders, injuries or fatalities. We will follow up next week with a blog post that highlights the intersections that had the most injuries and fatalities only, which can pose an even higher risk for motorists than total number of crashes.

No. 1: Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway – Commerce Township

As reported widely in January by local media, the intersection with the highest overall crashes last year in the state is a large roundabout in Oakland County. As we’ve seen over the years, areas with high traffic volumes inherently see higher crash volumes than less busy intersections. Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway in Commerce Township also experienced a significant increase in traffic volume in 2015 while neighboring Haggerty Road was closed all summer from Pontiac Trail to Richardson Road for construction. This resulted in considerably heavier traffic, as vehicles used the M-5 roundabout as a detour.

Looking at the the past two years, where the average annual number of crashes for this intersection was 101, we hope that 2015 was simply an unusual year and 2016 will return to lower levels. There were only 18 overall injuries though for this intersection – a much lower amount than the traditional traffic light intersections on this list.

With state agencies planning on converting more than 10 Michigan intersections into roundabouts in 2016, drivers are navigating these traffic circles more often. Our attorneys created a Roundabout Resource Center to show where all roundabouts are located in the state, as well as safety tips for drivers.

No. 2: Telegraph and 12 Mile Road – Southfield

Second on the list is Telegraph and 12 Mile Road in Southfield, another busy intersection in Southfield where local businesses bring daily commuters and shoppers. When aggregating all accidents in the area, including those occurring on the turnarounds both north and south of the intersection, the numbers were consistent with 132 crashes in each of the past two years. Telegraph has always been a particularly busy high speed road in metro Detroit.

No. 3: Van Dyke Avenue and 11 Mile Road – Warren/Center Line

Yet another busy area with on/off ramps to I-696, Van Dyke Avenue and 11 Mile Road in Warren experienced an increase in accidents from 121 to 131 in 2015. These numbers include reported car crashes that occurred in the turnarounds above I-696 just east and west of Van Dyke road.

No 4: Van Dyke Avenue and 18 ½ Mile Road – Sterling Heights

Again we see another roundabout type of intersection with a high number of crashes at Van Dyke Avenue and 18 ½ Mile Road in Sterling Heights. This is a congested area as M-53/Van Dyke traffic is exiting onto the roundabout near the Ford Van Dyke plant. Once again though, our lawyers see a low number of 18 injuries – a much lower percent of total crashes versus the 29% average we see for traditional intersections statewide.

No 5: Big Beaver Road and I-75 – Troy

Anyone who has worked in Troy or visited Somerset Mall knows how congested Big Beaver Road and I-75 in Troy can be, as the on/off ramps to this busy freeway host lots of vehicles. This area is also very close to the road segment with the most crashes along I-75 in the state, with 51 crashes last year on Southbound I-75 between Maple and Rochester Roads. To see more on I-75 crash areas in Michigan, visit our blog post.

A few other things to note on the remaining intersections on this list

The No. 1 intersection in 2014, State Street and Ellsworth in Ann Arbor, did make the top 10 again, but at a much lower volume of 114 overall crashes compared to 171 back in 2014. This intersection was changed into a roundabout in 2013 and got a lot of media coverage for having such a big increase in accidents in 2014. It appears drivers have gotten more comfortable navigating this new type of intersection, as there were only three reported injuries in 2015.

No. 6 on the list, Ford Road and Haggerty Road in Canton, has gained notoriety as having some of the highest numbers of overall and injury accidents in the state over the past five years. Road segments along Ford Road in this area also have the highest number of overall crashes in the entire state in 2015.

As we see with road segment data, as well as these intersection numbers, larger populations equal more traffic, which typically results in more overall car crashes. This likely explains why all of the top 20 intersections on the list occur in southeast Michigan counties. For an overview of the top road segment crashes in the entire state, visit our blog post here.

Continue checking back as we begin our blog series on 2015 high crash intersections by county and larger cities throughout Michigan this spring and summer.

Do you drive through any of these intersections? Our auto law attorneys want to know: Why do you think there are so many car accidents in these hot spots?

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