[post updated July 2023]
Intersections can be dangerous places. Cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers meet at intersections. They come from opposite directions, cross each other or make turns into each other’s paths. And even though stop signs and traffic lights should safely control the flow of traffic at intersections, people often fail to pay attention to them. As a result of these factors, accidents frequently happen at intersections throughout Wisconsin. In fact, Wisconsin Department of Transportation figures indicate that roughly one-third of all traffic accidents in our state are intersection-related.
We wondered whether certain intersections in the state tend to be more crash-prone than others – and we were not alone. Several news outlets in recent years have identified the most dangerous intersections in different areas of Wisconsin. Here is a sampling of what we found:
In March 2013, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel released an analysis of crash data from 2007 to 2011. The newspaper found that the five intersections in Milwaukee with the most crashes during that period were:
- West Capitol Drive and Highway 45
- North Mayfair Road and West North Avenue
- North 35th Street and West Capitol Drive
- North 6th Street and West McKinley Avenue
- West National Avenue and the I-894 interchange.
The Journal Sentinel noted that intersections near shopping malls had the highest crash rates. However, because traffic is heavily congested and slow-moving in those areas, the crashes tended to result in only minor injuries.
In early May 2023, the death of a one-year-old girl sparked a new interest in the deadliest intersections in Milwaukee. This death was the result of someone driving approximately 80 MPH and running a red light. The new findings indicate that the most dangerous intersections in Milwaukee in 2021 and 2022 are:
- Fond du Lac Avenue, Capitol Drive and 51st Boulevard (81 crashes)
- North 27th Street, Center Street and Fond du Lac Avenue (81 crashes)
- Burleigh Street, Fond du Lac Avenue and 35th Street (110 crashes)
- 35th Street and Capitol Drive (41 crashes)
- 27th Street, Teutonia Avenue and Hampton Avenue (34 crashes)
Some other less dangerous but still notable Milwaukee intersections include, 60th Street and Silver Spring Drive, 60th Street and Capitol Drive, Sherman Boulevard and Capitol Drive and Cesar Chavez Drive, Muskego Avenue and Greenfield Avenue, all of which saw 32 crashes. People have died at these intersections during this period.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that three-way intersections are among the most dangerous. Additionally, many of the accidents that occurred at these intersections were hit-and-runs. Some of these even occurred in areas with a heavy police presence.
In June 2017, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that the intersection of East Washington Avenue and First Street was Madison’s most dangerous intersection. The newspaper based that finding on data which showed that 43 crashes occurred at that location in 2016. The four other most crash-heavy intersections in the city were:
- Johnson Street and Broom Street
- University Avenue and Park Street
- John Nolen Drive and Broom Street
- East Washington Avenue and Baldwin Street
In May 2016, Fox 11 News reported on a study by Appleton transportation officials that identified the city’s intersections with the highest crash totals. The goal of the study was to identify areas in need of improvement. According to the study, the five most dangerous intersections in Appleton were:
- West Northland Avenue and North Richmond Street
- East Calumet Street and South Kensington Drive
- North Ballard Road and East Northland Avenue
- East Calumet Street and Stoney Brook Road
- North Meade Street and East Northland Avenue
In February 2017, the La Crosse Tribune identified the county’s most crash-prone intersections by looking at data from 2009 to 2013. The five intersections with the highest crash totals were:
- Highway 16 and Gillette Street
- Highway 16 and South Kinney Coulee Road (Pralle Center Drive)
- Highway 16 and Highway 157
- Highway 157 and the I-90 interchange
- La Crosse Street and West Avenue
As these reports illustrate, no matter where you live in Wisconsin, you will find that certain intersections are more perilous than others. You can do your part to avoid crashes at these intersections by always slowing down when you approach a stop sign or traffic light, paying attention to your surroundings and making sure to yield to others as the law requires.
However, even if you are the safest driver, you cannot control what others do. If you are involved in an accident of any kind, protect your right to compensation by getting in touch with the experienced Wisconsin car accident attorneys of Lindner Law LLC. Call or reach us online today, and we will provide a free consultation about your case.