NewsWest 9 Special Report: Most Dangerous Intersections - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

NewsWest 9 Special Report: Most Dangerous Intersections

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9 

PERMIAN BASIN - Forget Houston or Dallas rush hour, the roads in West Texas are one of the most dangerous places to be in the Lone Star State. With more traffic hitting the roads, the greater the risk of getting into a car crash.  Recently the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance indicated drivers in the Basin are more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. NewsWest 9 took a look at the most dangerous intersections. 

It's a harsh reality in the Basin.  Accidents are on the rise and things only seem to be getting worse. According to the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance, there were 8,695 accidents in 2012, that covers a 12 county area in the Basin. 147 people died in those crashes. 
 
NewsWest 9 took a look at some of the most dangerous intersections in Midland and Ector counties, provided by the Texas Department of Transportation in Austin. For the year of 2012, NewsWest 9 noticed crashes in Midland County were higher compared to Ector County. There were a number of wrecks in Ector County, however, those accidents were spread out and not concentrated in one intersection.

Here are the top six high risk intersections that was reported to TXDOT that had 10 crashes or more:
    
Highway 385 and South Loop 338 in Ector County had 15 crashes there with eight possible injuries. Over in Midland, FM 1788 at Interstate 20, there have been 17 accidents at that intersection with seven possible injuries. 

Department of Public Safety Trooper, Molly Hernandez, says that intersection is a very congested area because of the high traffic volume.
     
"Traffic is backed up all the way up onto the overpass. At busy times like early in the morning and evening hours, when more people are getting off work, it gets very congested. You got traffic existing off the Interstate, Eastbound and of course you got traffic coming off the interstate Westbound. Everybody is trying to make a turn, either North or South on FM 1788," Hernandez said. "Because you got all these convenience stores in areas where people are going to turn."

Hernandez says those types of actions also causes crashes.
    
Loop 250 and North Garfield Street is ranked next with 22 crashes at that intersection. Last year, the intersection had five injuries and the area also gets congested during the rush hours. 

23 accidents were reported at Loop 250 at Interstate 20 with four possible injuries.

"This area right here on Loop 250, just this intersection right here, there have been several crashes in that intersection. People are trying to cross the intersection at busy times and they get in a hurry and fail to yield the right away and don't stop at the intersection," Hernandez said. 

The intersection with the most crashes last year was at Loop 250 and Highway 191. According to the data, there were 29 accidents and 14 possible injuries. 

"So, it's not so much they don't know how to drive. It's that they fail to control speed and driver attention, that's playing a main factor," Hernandez said. 

An intersection that has gotten a lot of attention recently is in Ector County, Loop 338 and Yukon Road. There were 13 crashes last year with four possible injuries including one fatal. Just last month, three people lost their lives after a major crash there and several others were seriously injured. 

"We have special operations that we're holding where there's troopers that are brought in from different areas, a special task force to focus on those areas that are high traffic, high crash areas," Hernandez said. 

NewsWest 9 also requested the number of accidents that have happened from the beginning of this year up to April first from TXDOT. Midland County reported 195 crashes and Ector County has 291. Authorities say those numbers could stay low, it'll all depend on driver behavior.
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