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Michigan’s 2016 Top 20 Most Dangerous Intersections

Our attorneys share the state’s most dangerous intersections that saw the most car crashes in 2016 — including a No. 1 that’s never appeared on any previous lists

The intersection of 14 Mile and Orchard Lake roads, on the Farmington Hills/West Bloomfield, had the most car crashes in 2016. This is the first time the intersection has appeared on Michigan’s top 20 most dangerous intersections list.

Once again, our attorneys are sharing a new list of the 20 most dangerous intersections in Michigan based on 2016 data — so motorists can use extra caution when driving around these areas.

And motorists will need to be on higher alert, as the intersection with the most car crashes in 2016 has never even appeared in previous years’ top 20 lists.

This is the latest data available from 2016 on the top 20 Michigan intersections with the highest number of car crashes. 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 highest number of reported car crashes. “Intersection” is defined below as any road with a traffic signal, four-way stop or roundabout.

The Top 20 most dangerous intersections* in Michigan with the highest number of car accidents – 2016

Rank Dangerous Intersection Total Crashes Injury Crashes Only
1 Orchard Lake Road @ 14 Mile Road
Farmington Hills, Oakland County
163 27
2 11 Mile Road/I-696 @ Van Dyke Avenue
Warren/Center Line, Macomb County
158 37
3 Telegraph Road @ 12 Mile Road
Southfield, Oakland County
145 30
4 Martin Parkway/M-5 @ Pontiac Trail
Commerce Twp, Oakland County
144 6
5 I-75 @ Big Beaver Road Interchange
Troy, Oakland County
134 27
6 Schoolcraft Road @ Telegraph Road
Redford Twp, Wayne County
120 16
7 State Street @ Ellsworth Road
Ann Arbor/Pittsfield Twp, Washtenaw County
120 5
8 Grand River Avenue @ I-96 Interchange
Brighton, Livingston County
103 19
9 18 Mile Road @ Van Dyke Avenue
Sterling Hgts, Macomb County
103 16
10 11 Mile Road/I-696 @ Gratiot Avenue
Roseville, Macomb County
99 27
11 Southfield Road @ 11 Mile Road
Lathrup Village/Oakland County
99 12
12 Metropolitan Parkway @ Mound Road
Sterling Heights, Macomb County
93 27
13 I-75 @ M-59 Interchange
Auburn Hills, Oakland County
92 31
14 Hall Road/M-59 @ Romeo Plank Road
Clinton Twp/Macomb, Macomb County
92 23
15 18 1/2 Mile Road @ M-53/Van Dyke Ramp
Sterling Hgts, Macomb County
92 4
16 Middlebelt Road @ Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, Wayne County
90 23
17 Hall Road/M-59 @ Schoenherr Road
Shelby Twp/Sterling Heights, Macomb County
90 22
18 U.S. 131 @ Wealthy Road Interchange
Grand Rapids, Kent County
87 13
19 Ford Road @ Lilley Road
Canton Twp, Wayne County
85 26
20 23 Mile Road @ I-94 Interchange
Chesterfield Twp, Macomb County
85 26

– Source: Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit

– Note: 2016 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 the top 5 intersections and why there are so many crashes in these locations, please keep in mind that this list includes total number of car 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, which can pose an even higher risk for motorists than total number of crashes.

No. 1 among most dangerous intersections: Orchard Lake and 14 Mile roads – Farmington Hills/West Bloomfield

New to the No. 1 spot of the state’s most dangerous intersections in 2016 is an intersection that was modified from a traffic light to a roundabout during the 2015 construction season. As part of the Northwestern Connector project, this intersection is one of three points in a busy “triangle” area and underwent a change in how traffic flows in the vicinity. Conversion of this very busy area to a roundabout likely contributed to a significant spike in crashes compared to the numbers seen in years prior to the construction.

While new roundabouts do see a spike in overall car crashes their first and second year, those numbers tend to level off as motorists become used to driving through them over time. Roundabouts still remain a safe alternative, as only 27 of the 163 total crashes at Orchard Lake and 14 Mile resulted in injuries — a very low rate compared to traditional traffic lights. This particular intersection has always had a large amount of daily traffic, and with two traffic light intersections less than 500 feet away — one at Northwestern Highway’s terminus at Orchard Lake, the other at 14 Mile and Northwestern — congestion likely adds to the rise in car crashes.

With state agencies planning on converting more than 10 Michigan intersections into roundabouts in 2017, drivers are navigating these traffic circles more often. Our attorneys created a Roundabout Resource Center to show where all roundabouts are in the state, as well as safety tips for drivers.

No. 2 among most dangerous intersections: Van Dyke Avenue and 11 Mile Road/I-696, Warren/Center Line

The No. 2 spot this year goes to an intersection where a busy suburban freeway flows under a heavily traveled stretch of road. With freeway on/off ramps and merging traffic, Van Dyke Avenue and 11 Mile Road, on the border of Warren and Center Line, experienced an increase in accidents from 131 in 2015 to 158 this past year — a 21% increase. These numbers include reported car crashes that occurred in the turnarounds above I-696 just east and west of Van Dyke. The interchange also took the No. 4 spot for most injuries in the state. Use caution in this busy area.

No. 3 among most dangerous intersections: Telegraph and 12 Mile roads, Southfield

Moving down a notch from its No. 2 spot on last year’s list is 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, there was an increase from 132 crashes in 2015 to 145 this past year. Telegraph has always been a well-known, high-speed/high-traffic road in metro Detroit, and the Telegraph/12 Mile intersection is even more so, given its proximity to Northwestern Highway and I-696.

No. 4 among most dangerous intersections: Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway, Commerce Township

As reported widely by local media last year, the intersection with the highest overall crashes in 2015 was a large roundabout in Oakland County. The Road Commission for Oakland County installed fences as an experimental solution last June to slow down drivers and reduce the number of crashes.

Looking at the past two years, 2016 did return this intersection to lower levels with 144 crashes compared to 186 in 2015. There also was a big decrease in overall injuries with just 6 last year compared to 18 in 2015. As one of the largest roundabouts in the state, use caution through this area.

No. 5 among most dangerous intersections: 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 see lots of vehicles. Unfortunately, this interchange saw a 46% increase in total crashes in 2016 compared to 2015. Use caution this summer as major construction along I-75 in Oakland County may affect this area and cause additional congestion.

Also of note on the remaining most dangerous intersections

We were very happy to see one particular intersection missing from the top 20 list this year: Ford and Haggerty roads in Canton, which gained notoriety as having some of the highest numbers of overall and injury accidents in the state over the past five years. With 81 total car crashes in 2016, this represents a dramatic decrease of 30% from the 116 crashes in 2015. This is a great example of successful local and state government efforts to improve the safety of intersections known for a high number of accidents.

As we see from years of data analysis on Michigan auto accidents, larger populations equal more traffic, which typically results in more overall car crashes. This likely explains why all but one of the top 20 intersections on the list are in southeast Michigan counties.

Continue checking back as we begin our blog series on 2016 dangerous 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?

Visit our new Michigan Dangerous Intersections page for a complete list of intersection car crashes that can be searched by any Michigan city or county.

This entry was tagged Tags: Dangerous intersections, Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit, Roundabout car accidents
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