Where is America's Most Dangerous Intersection?

"It's plagued by poor signage, dim, lighting, discontinuous sidewalks, aggressive drivers and jaywalkers..."


It’s in Pennsylvania, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on fatal traffic accidents. TIME analyzed the most recent data available, which spanned from 2003 to 2012, and used latitude and longitude coordinates to count the number of fatal accidents that occurred within approximately 150 feet of each other. We then focused on the accident sites that were at the crossing of two roads.

Our conclusion: the most dangerous intersection was in Bensalem, PA, where Knights Road crosses Street Road. It’s in a commercial corridor in Bucks County, fringed by a Subway sandwich shop and a gas station, not too far from a Kohl’s. Why was it the site of 7 fatal crashes during the 10-year time period we analyzed?

It’s plagued by poor signage, dim, lighting, discontinuous sidewalks, aggressive drivers and jaywalkers, according to a 2008 traffic audit. In a one-mile stretch of Street Road that includes the intersection, there were 144 crashes in the two years leading up to the audit, and 170 people died or were injured.

“It’s a lot of volume,” says Joseph Fiocco, a traffic engineer who helped author the audit. “The more traffic that’s crossing and the more pedestrians and bicycles there are, the more likely accidents are.” More than 36,000 vehicles, including buses that carry some 500 people a day, travel on Street Road daily.

The specific layout of the roads also complicates the flow of traffic. “It’s quirky because it’s not a 90-degree intersection,” says Dave Johnson, a transportation director for the county who helped author the traffic audit.

Since the audit, at least six fatal crashes have occurred. A regional planning commission ahs suggested a full redesign of the crossway to improve capacity.

There were 11 runners-up for the most dangerous intersection, with 6 fatal incidents each during the 10-year time period:

Elizabeth, N.J.
Intersection of East Jersey Street and Spring Street

St. Louis
Intersection of North Grand Boulevard and Montgomery Street

Asheville, N.C.
Intersection of Patton Avenue and New Leicester Highway

Awendaw, S.C.
Intersection of North Highway 17 and Seewee Road

Lucedale, Miss.
Intersection of Route 63 and Route 98

Astor, Fla.
Intersection of State Road 40 and State Road 19

Intersection of North Semoran Boulevard and Old Cheney Highway

Kissimmee, Fla.
Intersection of Vista Del Lago Boulevard and Route 192

Frostproof, Fla.
Intersection of South Scenic Highway and County Road 700

Hialeah Gardens, Fla.
Intersection of Hialeah Gardens Boulevard and North Okeechobee Road

Wilton, ME.
Intersection of Allen Street and Route 2

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