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Intersections are points of conflict in any urban design plan. Because people in cars, on foot and on bikes are all coming together and going in different directions at intersections, wrecks are more likely to occur. Some intersections are more dangerous than others. There are specific engineering-based strategies for improving the safety of these conflict points. Some of these strategies include geometric design and the application of traffic control devices (cones, lights, etc.) According to many local businesses in the area, the intersection located at Savanna and Wescoats Roads is unreasonably dangerous. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has proposed to make changes that it hopes will improve safety.
DelDOT plans to realign Old Orchard Road, so that it meets the existing intersection at Savannah and Wescoats. This, DelDOT hopes, will prevent the problem caused by having multiple intersections on the Savannah Road corridor. In addition, to improve safety, DelDOT plans to add sidewalks, turning lanes, and bike lanes.
The project is in a preliminary stage. DelDOT recently held a public workshop to discuss the proposed changes, and will go back and reevaluate the design after taking public comment into consideration. Formal public comment has also been taken, and it will make a decision after considering all input.
At the intersection of Savannah and Old Orchard Road alone, there were 24 accidents in the ten years between 2007 and 2017. There were an additional 37 accidents at Savannah and Wescoats during that time, according to DelDOT.
Local businesses have reported hearing excessive honking and people slamming on their brakes. Employees local to the area have reported having trouble getting in and out of work, often having to drive around the intersection because it is too busy and dangerous.
The project is slated to cost approximately $4 million, funded by the state treasury. Many are optimistic that it will save costs long term, by making the area safer and reducing the number of accidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, intersection safety is a national, state, and local priority. Every year, there are 2.5 million intersection accidents nationwide, most of which involve cars turning left.
To stay safe while driving through intersections, make sure to keep vigilant. Never look at your cell phone or attempt to text and drive. If you see a pedestrian, yield to them, even if they are not in a crosswalk. When you are making a left turn on a green light, look twice—a pedestrian might be there, and you are not expecting to see them because you are focused on looking for other cars. Never try to race through a yellow light unless you are fully confident that it is safer to go through it than it would be to stop. Look for people who might run a red light—just because you have a green light does not necessarily mean that you are safe going through the intersection.
If you have been injured by a distracted, intoxicated, or negligent driver, you deserve answers. The experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow fight tirelessly to hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions. To discuss your case, call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we represent injured victims and their families throughout the region.