A reader once suggested printing colored dots on maps, local or state, where the worst intersections are so drivers could avoid them. He was referring to heavy traffic, most likely to be an accident scene, worst designed and several other key points.
I'm not sure you could read a map colored so distinctly. Just about any intersection is one crash away from being a candidate for that list. Some areas already have warning signs on the approach. Speed, people or animals present, and many other factors are noted.
Even then, some drivers just don't seem to get the message.
We have a big traffic circulation problem on Lincoln (Boulevard) at NE 42. It's been bad but has been made worse now that the Oklahoma Health Authority has opened. People do not know how to drive where there is a split-median road. People position their cars in the opposite way and block traffic and it's very dangerous — especially between 4 and 6 p.m. Attached is a diagram (http://forms.newsok.com/photo_upload/photodir/April24-Jun-2014163610.docx) showing the intersection and how people should be turning. I am trying to distribute (the diagram) to the main companies in the area, but it's a problem that I've seen across the city and one that I see near-accidents happen all time. ...
I bet there are statistics that show a high rate of accidents when people block the traffic.
In areas with such a high volume of traffic, you're likely to see just about anything, April. I forwarded your comments in a request to city officials for any information they could provide on this. Here is the response from Shannon Cox with the Oklahoma City Public Works office:
“We were able to pull the accident reports for this intersection for the last four years and found a total of seven accidents,” she said.
Those include one collision resulting from a U-turn, one rear end collision at the pedestrian signal south of NE 42.
There was one of what is classified as F-O curb — the driver was avoiding a pedestrian and hit the curb.
There were two accidents where the driver's angle of turn coming from a private drive or side street resulted in an accident.
Two others were rear-end impact caused by following too close or inattention.
As for accidents caused by traffic being blocked, it certainly can increase the chances. You could find examples of just about any statistic you could imagine at such locations.
By the way ...
I personally witnessed a couple of near-misses recently caused by vehicles in the wrong position to turn through a median such as you describe.
Coincidentally, a reader just recently asked which area of the turning location in the median should you be in because he had encountered a clogged spot and could not see oncoming traffic, resulting in a near-collision.
In this country, we drive on the right. Stay to your right and you have a better chance of seeing the oncoming traffic. If you have another vehicle between you and the traffic, the odds are against you.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.