Driver Beware When Approaching These High Crash Intersections in Massachusetts
While drivers have a duty to operate with reasonable care and follow traffic laws, it is also worth noting the road you are traveling on. In Massachusetts, certain intersections have a track record of more car accidents than others.
Which intersections? In its most recent report, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) shared the top 200 crash locations across the state. Released in September 2020, MassDOT’s 2017 Top Crash Locations Report offers insights as drivers plan their summer travel and resume commuting.
The rankings are based on reports to the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ Crash Data System from 2015-2017. A weighted methodology was used to compile the list.
Here are the top 10 car crash locations in Massachusetts:
- VFW Highway at Bridge Street, Lowell
- Randolph Avenue at Chickatwabut Road, Milton
- Morton Street at Harvard Street, Boston
- Ash Street and West Elm Street, Brockton
- Appleton Street at Central Street, Lowell
- Pleasant Street at Lincoln Street, Stoughton
- Main Street at Plainfield Street, Springfield
- High Street at Cabot Street, Holyoke
- Broadway at Third Street, Chelsea
- Saint James Avenue at Saint James Boulevard, Springfield
Several communities had multiple intersections on the list. Lowell has four of the top 25.
Top Crash Locations in Lowell
Two of the highest-ranked intersections were on the VFW Highway along the Merrimack River in Lowell. The VFW Highway at Bridge Street was named the top crash location statewide. The VFW Highway and Mammath Road ranked 22nd.
Also in Lowell, Appleton Street at Central Street and School Street at Branch Street appeared among the top 25 motor vehicle crash areas.
Brockton Top Crash Locations
MassDOT listed 31 Brockton intersections among the top 200 crash locations. The five top crash locations in Brockton:
4) Ash Street and West Elm Street, Brockton
15) Court Street at Montello Street, Brockton
23) Forest Avenue at Bouve Avenue, Brockton
24) Main Street at Nilsson Street, Brockton
25) Warren Avenue at Father Kenney Way, Brockton
One of the top crash locations was the area of North Quincy and Chestnut Streets on the Abington and Brockton border. Nearby, two Randolph intersections along Route 28 appeared on the list. At 41 was the intersection of South Main Street and Union Street. North Main Street and Scanlon Drive ranked 126 (this finished in the same position as six other intersections in Brockton, Lowell, Cambridge and two locations in Worcester).
Can You Change Your Commute to Avoid High Crash Locations?
Every driver wants to avoid a car crash. Apps such as Google Directions and Waze can offer valuable insights about traffic volumes. But we encourage you to look through the full MassDOT list of top crash locations.
If you travel through one of these intersections, consider why there are so many auto accidents. Some roads have high traffic volumes, especially during commuting hours. With more drivers, you may see more unsafe maneuvers, such as talking on a cell phone, speeding or failure to yield. Other roads have become large truck routes or are just aging, with outdated traffic infrastructure or poor lighting.
If you can, try to avoid these intersections or adjust your commute to avoid peak traffic. If you must travel these areas, pay attention and consider safety, near other vehicles as well as other pedestrians and cyclists. And watch for change. If you search online, you may find some of these intersections are scheduled for re-construction in the near future.
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