Most Dangerous Intersections in Boston
Massachusetts, especially the Boston area, has a long-standing reputation of being difficult for drivers. Traffic is very congested in most of the Boston metropolitan area, and several intersections are notorious for being some of the most dangerous areas for drivers. All drivers in the Boston area, both residents and visitors, should know the most dangerous intersections in Boston and how to avoid serious accidents.
High-Risk Areas in Boston
The statistically worst intersection for accidents in the Boston area is the intersection of Columbia Road and the Southeast Expressway in Dorchester. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) data, this intersection witnessed 296 vehicle crashes in a ten-year span, 78 of which caused injuries. A few of the other areas with the highest nonfatal accident rates include:
- Middlesex Turnpike at Route 128 in Burlington. This intersection witnessed 295 crashes over ten years, just shy of the intersection of Columbia Road and the Southeast Expressway in Dorchester.
- Granite Avenue and the Expressway in Milton saw 245 crashes in the same ten-year span.
- North Washington Street and Boston’s Central Artery, which saw 232 crashes in ten years
- Route 128 and Interstate 93 in Woburn saw 225 accidents.
Some of the other areas where minor accidents and fender-benders occur most often include intersections along Route 128 and Interstate 93. Parts of the Merrimack Valley, Springfield, and Worcester areas are also well-known spots for inattentive drivers, distracted driving, and low-speed dings and collisions.
Other parts of the Boston metropolitan area have higher fatal accident rates. The two intersections with the highest rates of fatal accidents in the area include I-93 and I-495 in Andover and the intersection of Routes 3 and 18 in Weymouth.
Dangerous Driving Patterns in Boston
Researchers from MassDOT, local governments, and federal agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) track traffic collision data to extrapolate meaningful data trends, typically the data that points to the most common causes of accidents. In the Boston area, some of the major issues seem to revolve around aggressive driving, failure to signal for turns and lane changes, distracted driving, and moving violations.
Aggressive driving can include overtaking another vehicle too closely or at high speed, changing lanes quickly to weave through slower-moving lanes of traffic, cutting off other drivers, speeding, and any other maneuvers that put other drivers on the defensive. Many people who drive aggressively do so to reach their destinations faster or out of frustration with who they deem to be slow drivers.
Distracted driving refers to any type of driving during which the driver is not fully paying attention. Talking on the phone or to a passenger, texting while driving, eating, applying cosmetics, or anything else that diverts the driver’s eyes, hands, and/or attention away from driving is a potentially dangerous distraction. From 2015 to 2016, the fatal accident rate in Massachusetts jumped to 12.8%, more than double the national rate of 5.6%. Traffic safety experts believe that distracted driving is a major cause behind this extremely high jump in fatal accidents in the Boston area.
Avoiding Accidents in the Boston Area
In addition to avoiding aggressive or distracted driving, Boston drivers can do other things to avoid serious injuries and costly property damage from vehicle accidents. Regardless of how familiar you are with the area, planning your route in advance is a good way to prevent becoming lost and avoid split-second reflex maneuvers that may cause accidents.
Sweeney Merrigan, LLP also developed an interactive tracking tool you can use to check out some of the most dangerous intersections in the Boston area according to MassDOT data. Having a street-level view of these areas can help a driver prepare for the traffic patterns and likely issues in these intersections.