When traffic accidents occur at Seattle intersections, they can often be catastrophic. It’s not uncommon for an inattentive driver to cause a T-bone accident or head-on collision when running a traffic light or stop sign. But in Seattle's worst intersections, pedestrians are often put at risk.
Sometimes, the location and infrastructure of an intersection can be contributing factors in a crash. These accidents can often be prevented when motorists uphold their duty of care and drive reasonably.
Where are Seattle's worst intersections?
The Urbanist has identified the worst intersections in Seattle based on user polls from 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
In 2017, the intersection of Denny Way and Stewart St was nominated as the worst intersection. In fact, this intersection has been nominated three times in previous years. The intersection is reported as often being clogged with buses, pedestrians, motor-vehicles and bikes.
The intersection of Green Lake Way N, N 50th St, and Stone Way N was nominated as the worst intersection in 2016. It has been reported that multiple vehicles travel in multiple directions at the same time, creating confusion and traffic congestion for road users. The intersection was reported as being so hazardous that residents have suggested installing a roundabout.
Other intersections nominated include:
- Denny Way and Terry Ave in 2015 because of its unsafe infrastructure for pedestrians.
- 5th Ave and Denny Way in 2012 because of its missing crosswalk and faulty pedestrian signal.
- Intersections surrounding Aurora Ave in South Lake Union in 2011 because of its long pedestrian barriers. Between April of 2005 and March of 2008, five pedestrians were hit in the area between Denny Way and Mercer St.
Finding solutions to the problem
Joining the efforts of Vision Zero’s safety campaign, Seattle aims to eliminate all deaths relating to traffic accidents by the year 2030. They plan to do this by cracking down on distracted driving, which contributes to 30 percent of all crashes per year.
In 2016, Seattle reduced its speed limits on residential streets from 25 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour. Downtown streets have been reduced from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.
One way serious accidents at intersections can be prevented is by the installation of roundabouts, which require vehicles to travel at lower speeds of 15-25 miles per hour. Due to the design of roundabouts, head-on collisions and T-bone accidents are highly unlikely. If accidents do occur, they may not be severe enough to cause life-threatening injuries.
Komo News reports that a community action group in West Seattle is advocating for the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Highland Park Way and Holden Ave, where 33 accidents have been reported between 2012 and 2017. Earlier this year, a pedestrian was struck at that intersection, but only suffered minor injuries.
No matter how minor an injury sustained in an accident may be, you should always seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel like you can “walk it off,” complications from your injury may not appear until days after the accident.
After receiving a medical evaluation, you should speak to an experienced Seattle pedestrian accident attorney who can help you build a strong claim. Contact Nelson Langer Engle, PLLC today and find out how we can help you.