The latest data available from Florida’s Palm Beach county’s traffic division is from 2007 and the information is not good. The information shows that high-risk intersections in the county cause many car accidents each year. Cars running red lights, distracted drivers, and road rage are blamed for the crashes, which range from fatal accidents to minor fender benders.
Among the county’s worst intersections for car accidents are the Foresthill Blvd and Military Trail intersection. At this one intersection alone, 195 car accidents took place in 2007. High traffic volume may contribute to the high rate of car accidents – the intersection sees 92 000 vehicles pass through its streets daily. Another high-risk intersection in the county, Military and Okeechobee, sees more than 106 000 cars pass through each day.
The top 10 intersections for car accidents in Palm Beach for car accidents are also the most congested and the busiest intersections in the county. The high volume of traffic may contribute to accidents as drivers lose their tempers and make poor driving choices. The Safety Council of Palm Beach County, however, notes that multiple cars coming from several directions are also contributing to accidents. The Safety Council of Palm Beach County points out that many things happen at an intersection and drivers need to be extra alert at busy, dangerous intersections.
The 10 most dangerous intersections in Palm Beach county saw 130 injuries, 3 fatalities and nearly $4 million of damage in 2007 alone. In addition, there were 27 car accidents that were pedestrian accidents or accidents involving bicyclists. The Palm Beach County Traffic Division has noted that when information such as this is made available, engineers and city planners do evaluate possible solutions, such as adding flashing lights or extra traffic signals, to reduce accidents. However, many of the accidents – 56% to be exact — at the top 10 dangerous intersections in Palm Beach County were rear-end collisions. Experts note that such collisions are caused by driver inattention, and therefore additional traffic lights would be of very limited use.
Experts note that many people at intersections are impatient and take risks in order to get to work or their destination more quickly. Also, some drivers use the time they wait at intersections to apply makeup, use mobile devices or read text messages. This can distract drivers and cause them to be less aware of drivers around them, leading to accidents.
Although many experts blame devices such as cell phones and BlackBerries for distracted driving in Florida and around the country, many experts also note that familiarity may be a factor in many car crashes. Drivers who take the same route each day become familiar with specific intersections and develop bad habits as they drive. Many drivers are familiar with certain intersections and therefore not longer look for or anticipate the unexpected in these locations, which can lead to accidents.