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Sacramento's Most Dangerous Intersections

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Jeff Sevey

In 2015, there were 797 traffic fatalities at intersections around the state of California. This number is simply too high and is unacceptable. As citizens of this state, we need to protect ourselves by knowing where these accidents occur, and why. We also need to know what can we do to create safer intersections and safer drivers.

The California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System recorded over 400,000 car accidents in 2015.  Analysis of these records has shown that Sacramento has the second-largest amount of dangerous intersections in the state.

A number of intersections have been found to be more dangerous than others. In order to help you stay safer while driving in Sacramento, we've compiled a list of the nine top intersections where accidents occur.

Los Robles Blvd. & Marysville Blvd.  - Studies have shown that there were over 20 crash-related injuries and one death at this intersection in 2015 alone.

Fruitridge Rd. & 28th St. - Nearby auto shop owner, Ben Lee, says that at least every day, there is a driver that runs a red light at this intersection. "I just hear screeching tires and I look up and there's a big accident. I've seen someone get hit, dogs get hit, everything. Probably the worst one was a red light runner (that) took off. It was a hit and run," Lee said.

Jessie Ave. & Norwood Ave. - Studies show that 22 crash-related injuries occurred at this intersection in 2015. "It's like playing a game of chicken," said Daryl Anderson. Anderson frequently visits the Starbucks on this corner and said that he has witnessed an accident here before. Since this intersection is located near the entrance to the freeway, drivers who are quickly switching lanes to get onto the highway are a problem. "You do have to watch your back. You have to watch around and pay extra close attention when you ride through here," said Anderson.

Arena Blvd. & Truxel Rd. - Here, people claim that the problem is with drivers making unexpected U-turns. "I always try to drive a little sometimes too cautious here, because I know people here do not pay attention at all. You just have to be alert all the time,” said Griffin Jackson.

Folsom Blvd. & Howe Ave. - This intersection has around 30 collisions every year, according to the Sacramento Police Department. About 77,000 vehicles drive through this area daily, and that volume alone is partially responsible for the high number of accidents, claims Doug Morris of the Sacramento Police Department.

12th St. & B St. - Recent construction plans for the “North 12th Street Streetscape Improvements Project” will improve lighting and gutters, remove barriers, and upgrade the roadway through this corridor, beginning at this corner.  It is hoped that these improvements will help make this intersection safer as well.

Elder Creek Rd. & Stockton Blvd. - Eight crashes each year occur at this intersection, which is laid out like an old state highway, and in fact, used to be called Highway 99.

Franklin Blvd. & Mack Rd. - A total of nine crashes happened at this intersection in 2015. In August of 2016, there was a four-car pileup that occurred when a car that struck the median went airborne.

Mack Rd. & Valley High Dr. - Eight crashes happened here in 2015, and with a total of sixteen lanes intersections, it is surprising that number is so low.

The Federal Highway Administration claims that in the past few years, half of all injuries and one-quarter of all traffic fatalities have occurred at intersections. Since intersections are clearly a major public safety concern, Sacramento began installing Police Observation Devices at some intersections in 2015. These small cameras are helping law enforcement recognize and respond to drivers who make illegal driving actions when behind the wheel.

In an effort to improve accident statistics, Sacramento has also joined the Vision Zero campaign - an international campaign designed to eliminate traffic fatalities. The Vision Zero campaign aims to make roads safer for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

If you can't avoid the above intersections altogether, at least be much more aware of what's going on around you when you must drive through them. And take some tips from us below on how to drive more safely overall when driving through Sacramento intersections.

  • Approach an intersection safely, from the correct lane, based on where you want to go.
  • Be aware of your own vehicle’s blind spots, and the blind spots of other drivers. Try to stay out of other driver’s blind spots when at all possible.
  • Always utilize your turn signal well before your turn.
  • Avoid distractions. This can’t be stressed enough. Under current California law, you may not even hold a cell phone while driving. Pay attention to the road and the drivers and pedestrians around you.
  • Stay well behind the vehicle in front of you. Match their pace, and pay attention to brake lights. Stay even further behind a large vehicle that may not be able to see you.
  • As you approach an intersection, check for stoplights, signs, turning lanes, one-way signs, construction signs, pedestrians, crosswalks, and bicycle lanes.
  • Keep your foot solidly on the brake while you wait to cross or turn at an intersection.
  • When stopping at an intersection, stop at the painted line or behind the curb.
  • If a traffic light is out, the right of way goes to the driver who reaches the intersection first and proceeds to each driver to the right in succession. If you are confused, let the other drivers go first.
  • If you are following another car at a stop sign, wait two seconds after they have proceeded to begin accelerating. Do this to prevent an accident in the event that they stop suddenly.
  • Never intentionally run a stop sign, even if it appears that there is no one else entering the intersection.
  • If there is a roundabout on your route, and you are confused by roundabouts, take another route to avoid it.
  • Never change lanes in the middle of an intersection. Not only is it illegal, but it is very dangerous.
  • Be aware of keeping your actions predictable and your intentions clear when you are driving.

Let’s all try to approach intersections with more care and attention, and pull together to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities in Sacramento intersections!

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