Traffic accidents in Baltimore happen everywhere from residential streets and major highways to city intersections and even parking lots. While a collision can happen anywhere, certain intersections and roads stand out in Baltimore for a higher-than-average rate of car accidents.
Sometimes intersections or roads are particularly dangerous due to blind spots or poor design, but a higher number of accidents often comes down to two factors: traffic congestion and driver inattention or reckless behavior. As you drive around Baltimore, it pays to understand which intersections and roads are most dangerous so you can be extra vigilant.
Most Dangerous Intersections in Baltimore
The following intersections are Baltimore’s most dangerous with the highest number of accidents every year. For some intersections, congestion and a high volume of traffic alone contributes to the high accident rate. Some intersections, however, have a confusing layout that increases the risk of a crash.
Gwynns Falls Parkway and Reisterstown Road
This intersection is by far Baltimore’s most dangerous with 46 injury-reported crashes in 2015 alone according to federal data. In fact, Gwynns Falls Parkway and Reisterstown Rd isn’t just the most dangerous intersection in Baltimore; it’s the most dangerous in Maryland.
Located in Woodbrook close to Druid Hill Park in Northwest Baltimore, the intersection is often avoided by Baltimore drivers who recognize the dangers and congestion of the area. In 2018 when Baltimore reinstated its red light cameras, a red light enforcement camera was added to the Gwynn Falls Parkway & Reisterstown Rd intersection.
Northern Parkway at Jones Falls Expressway (JFX)
In 2015, there were 38 injury-reported accidents at Northern Parkway at JFX. Many accidents at this intersection involve speeding and the area is often congested, two factors that increase the risk and severity of accidents. Jones Falls Expressway and Northern Parkway is also the intersection of two major highways which also contributes to its risk.
Orleans Street at Gay & Enstor Streets
Orleans St at Enstor and Gay Streets saw 36 injury-reported crashes in 2015 alone. This complicated intersection is so dangerous because it has traffic flowing in many directions as well as traffic congestion. Traffic patterns can cause a lot of confusion for drivers, especially those who aren’t familiar with the area.
West Cold Spring Lane at Jones Falls Expressway (JFX)
The Cold Spring Lane exit of the Jones Falls Expressway often makes the news for traffic accidents. Part of the problem is the exit splits into two routes which can lead to confusion. Sometimes drivers cut into traffic in an attempt to change their direction last-minute when they aren’t sure where they are going.
In 2015, there were 34 injury-reported crashes at Jones Falls Expressway and West Cold Spring Lane.
South Monroe Street at Washington Boulevard
Washington Blvd & South Monroe St is a common site of crashes in Baltimore with 27 injury-reported accidents in 2015. The reason is obvious if you’ve ever driven through: there are four traffic lights and five lanes of traffic coming from four directions.
West Northern Parkway at Falls Road
At first glance, West Northern Parkway at Falls Road looks like a typical intersection and the reason for the high accident rate may not be obvious. During rush hour, it quickly becomes apparent why so many crashes happen here.
West Northern Parkway at Falls Road is a large intersection between a multi-lane, divided road and a four-lane road. During 2015 alone, there were 26 accidents reported at the intersection.
Were you injured in a car or truck accident at an intersection in Baltimore, MD? Contact the legal team at William G. Kolodner, P.A. for immediate assistance with your injury claim. We offer a free consultation, so call now.
Dangerous Roads in Baltimore
In addition to the intersections identified above, there are several highways and roads in Baltimore that have high rates of accidents.
Gwynns Falls Parkway
In addition to accidents at Gwynns Falls Parkway and Reisterstown Rd, the Parkway itself is a frequent site of accidents. In 2015, 240 accidents were reported on Gwynns Falls Parkway with many crashes happening at other intersections with Garrison Boulevard, Dukeland St, Denison St, and Warwick Ave.
130 traffic accidents were reported along Washington Boulevard in Baltimore in 2015. The intersection of Washington Blvd and South Monroe St is one of the city’s most dangerous intersections but other intersections on Washington also report several accidents every year. Additional dangerous intersections on the road include Hollins Ferry Road, South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and West Patapsco Avenue.
Jones Falls Expressway (JFX)
According to a study, the crash rate on Baltimore’s Jones Falls Expressway/I-83 is more than double that of other Maryland highways. There was an average of 38 accidents per mile on the twisting, elevated highway through Baltimore between 2010 and 2014. Other Maryland highways have a crash rate of 16 per mile every year.
The study, commissioned by the City of Baltimore, found many issues with the stretch of city-owned highway:
- The corridor’s alignment has many vertical and horizontal curves
- The advisory speed signs for the curves are lower than the speed limit drivers anticipate for an interstate highway
- A lack of regular milepoint markers means imprecise crash location reporting
- Traffic congestion, especially during rush hour
The study found accidents were split evenly between southbound and northbound lanes. Single-vehicle accidents account for over 40% of crashes on I-83 in Baltimore, rear-end crashes were 25% of incidents, and 20% of accidents involved a side-swipe.
About 7.5% of all crashes happened at 2 am, the highest percentage of accidents in any hour. However, the study found crashes don’t align with traffic volume which means congestion isn’t a major indicator of the likelihood of an accident.
The consultants paid by the city recommended better signage to reduce speeds, minor concrete repair, contrast pavement marking, and high-friction surface treatments. The latter would help when the pavement is covered in snow or rain, a factor in 42% of accidents.
It’s no surprise that I-95 is a frequent site for traffic accidents in Baltimore. The highway is the most used in Maryland and the East Coast, especially by truckers thanks to its proximity to the Port of Baltimore. Running 1,907 miles from Miami to Houlton, Maine, more than 110 miles of I-95 goes through Maryland.
I-95 has been ranked as the most dangerous highway in Maryland by a study conducted by ASecureLife with 32 fatalities between 2015 and 2017. It’s not just Maryland’s most dangerous highway; it’s also one of the most dangerous in the country.
In December 2016, I-95 was the site of a massive 55-vehicle pile-up. This multi-vehicle crash happened when a fuel tanker slid off the ice-covered highway and exploded, sending fire into the path of oncoming vehicles. This was just one of two multi-vehicle accidents around the same time on I-95 in Baltimore. The same night, a fatal accident occurred when a driver exited his vehicle into oncoming traffic.
What Makes Certain Intersections More Dangerous?
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), intersections are “planned points of conflict.” That alone gives some insight into why so many accidents occur at or near intersections.
Intersections can become extremely congested during rush hour which makes them frustrating and sometimes unsafe to navigate. The very design of an intersection can contribute to accidents but most crashes at intersections are caused by negligent or reckless driver behavior.
The following are just some of the characteristics that make the Baltimore intersections above so dangerous:
- High traffic volume
- Poor visibility due to a hill, overpass, poor lighting, fog, structures, or blind spots
- Lack of signage
- No turning lanes which increases the risk of left-hand turns
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
- Poorly marked lanes
- Lack of a proper crosswalk for pedestrians or bicyclists
- Defects in the road
- Many points of entry
- Poor driving habits
Any of these factors may contribute to a crash. Poor driving habits are at the root of most accidents, however. At William G. Kolodner P.A., our car accident injury lawyers in Baltimore often represent victims hurt in intersection accidents by drivers who engaged in one or more of the following:
- Failing to yield to traffic
- Not using a turn signal
- Running a red or yellow light
- Distracted driving
- Failing to observe pedestrians at a crosswalk
- Illegal or unsafe turns
If you have been hurt in an accident in an intersection, it’s important to consult with an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and pursue fair compensation. Because so many factors may be involved in an intersection crash, including the intersection design or road conditions, it’s crucial that your accident be thoroughly investigated.
Injured on a Dangerous Baltimore Road? Call William G. Kolodner P.A. Today
If you have been seriously hurt on one of Baltimore’s dangerous roads or intersections, the legal team at William G. Kolodner P.A. is here to help. Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers will help you explore your legal options for seeking compensation from the at-fault party.
Even seemingly straightforward accidents can have multiple causes and proving fault can require the help of an experienced injury lawyer. This is especially true with accidents on the most dangerous roads and intersections in Baltimore where there are hundreds of crashes every year.
Contact William G. Kolodner P.A. today to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate Baltimore car accident lawyer today. We will help you understand the next steps to take and serve as your advocate throughout the legal process.