What are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Washington, D.C.?
If you drive, chances are you encounter at least one dangerous intersection each day. According to a 2020 Federal Highway Administration report, 50 percent of all car accidents happen in or near an intersection. In a city the size of Washington, D.C., with tens of thousands on the roads each day, that percentage can rise exponentially.
Intersections are inherently dangerous as they culminate in the crossing of multiple roads in the same location. The danger increases when cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians reach these crossroads simultaneously. Speeding, distracted driving, poorly marked directions, weather conditions, obstructions, drunk driving, and right-of-way confusion are just some of the causes that lead to intersection accidents.
Where are the Most Dangerous Intersections in the District?
Though reports vary slightly on their individual rankings, all agree the following intersections to be the city’s most dangerous over the past five years:
- Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue: Named the most dangerous intersection in Washington, D.C., by Time Magazine, these crossroads frequently experience pedestrian and vehicle accidents. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) performed multiple studies on this intersection. In 2019, the DDOT began a revitalization to improve traffic flow for pedestrians and cars, which included new and safer sidewalks. Despite this, however, accidents continue to happen in this location.
- Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE: Also informally known as Dave Thomas Circle, this intersection has had over 220 car accidents since 2015 and accumulated the highest number of requests to the DDOT to perform traffic studies and improve the safety of the roundabout. A major thoroughfare between the Northeast and Northwest sections of Washington, New York Avenue is heavily trafficked, often overwhelming this intersection and leading to accidents.
- 14th Street and Columbia Road: Numerous accidents are reported each year on 14th Street, largely owing to rideshare vehicles and others using the designated bike lane, forcing cyclists and pedestrians into the car lanes. This is particularly troubling at the intersection of Columbia Road. Between 2015 and 2020, there were 12 reported accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians in this location. In 2020, DDOT made improvements to bus and bicycle lanes along this stretch to provide safer conditions. To date, it is unknown if these enhancements have decreased the number of accidents.
- 7th Street and Massachusetts Avenue: Located in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood, the high volume of vehicle traffic on 7th Street is met with multiple crossroads converging. Massachusetts Avenue, K Street, New York Avenue, and Mount Vernon Place all intersect within short distances of one another, clogging traffic and posing additional danger to cyclists and pedestrians. In fact, an elderly man was struck and trapped under a Greyhound bus at the intersection of 7th and Massachusetts in 2015.
- Good Hope Road and MLK Jr. Avenue, SE: Though car ownership in this historic section of the city is quite low, commuter traffic of roughly 28,000 vehicles per day pass through this intersection. With the bulk of commercial business in this location, such as restaurants, banks, stores, pharmacies, and other establishments, thousands of pedestrians pass through as well, adding to the danger where these roads converge.
How can I Avoid Being in an Intersection Car Accident?
Although the circumstances leading up to a car accident can sometimes be out of your control, there are steps you can take to help protect you and others when entering dangerous intersections. Pay attention, quiet in-car noise, and adhere to all rules and signage. Impatience and distraction are often the main cause of accidents, so double-check and observe your surroundings on all sides before entering the intersection and proceed slowly.
Washington D.C. Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Advocate for Clients Injured in Intersection Accidents
Accidents do happen, even if you have been cautious. You cannot control how others on the road are driving. If you have been involved in an intersection accident, our Washington D.C. car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King advocate daily for our clients. Call us at 202-331-1963 or submit an online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.