Eau Claire (WQOW) — You probably drive through several intersections daily on your way to work or school or just driving around town.
Maybe you’ve seen crashes, or even been in one. So. we broke down Eau Claire’s most dangerous intersections and what you can do to stay safe.
The hundreds of streets through Eau Claire will inevitably intersect, and accidents happen.
“Distracted driving is a problem we hear about quite frequently,” Bridget Coit with Eau Claire police told News 18. “People are always on their cellphones or changing the station on the radio or reaching for something in the vehicle.”
According the Eau Claire police, rear-end crashes are most common.
“Some of the rear-end crashes are literally just not giving yourself enough time, space and distance and time to react in case somebody in front of you makes a sudden movement or stops,” Coit said.
According to the Chippewa-Eau Claire Metropolitan Planning Organization, the intersection of Golf Road and Commonwealth Avenue had the highest number of crashes between 2014 and 2016. (Note this is total number of crashes, not crash rate as shown in the ranking below)
“People might not be paying attention, they might be trying to find where they’re going go, they might be distracted, which in turn can cause other drivers to be confused and potentially cause a crash,” Coit added.
Other intersections with the most crashes included Fairfax Street and Clairemont Avenue along with Farewell and Galloway Streets.
“When it comes to an intersection, we need their focus to turn to that intersection, and the intersection only,” said owner of Safety and Respect Driving School, Marty Fadness.
On top of the basics, officials said taking your time is essential.
“Pull over and take the time to find out where you’re going instead of trying to do that in the middle of the roadway or the middle of the intersection. That helps other drivers out,” Coit said.
“We try to teach the students to treat the yellow light as an extension of the red light, not an extension of the green light,” added Fadness. “If they reduce their speed in anticipation of an intersection, they’ll increase their chances dramatically of navigating that intersection correctly.”
Some intersections around Eau Claire have incorporated overhead signs to show which lanes are going to turn or go through, along with separate lights for each lane of traffic. These were put in place as a precaution to hopefully reduce accidents and crash rates.
The following 10 intersections have the highest crash rate in Eau Claire. The number/rate equals number of crashes per one million entering vehicles.
- Clairemont Ave at Fairfax St. – 2.23
2. Hastings Way at Birch St. – 2.17
3. Golf Rd. at Commonwealth Ave. – 2.15
4. Farwell St. at Wisconsin St. – 2.11
5. North Crossing at Old Wells Rd. – 1.99
6. Main St. at Margaret St. – 1.94
7. Clairemont Ave. at Keith St. – 1.91
8. Clairemont Ave. at London Rd. – 1.88
9. Lake St. at Graham Ave. – 1.84
10. Clairemont Ave. at Craig Rd. – 1.79