Report maps local intersections where frequent crashes occur

Police & Street Commissioners point to traffic volume as main cause of fender benders

July 26, 2011|By Kelli Stopczynski (, Click here to become a fan of Kelli on Facebook | By Kelli Stopczynski (, Click here to become a fan of Kelli on Facebook

NORTHERN INDIANA – Do you know where you're most likely to be in a car accident?  A new report shows the most dangerous intersections in Indiana might not be where you think they are.  That report, issued by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, also says the most deadly months on Indiana roads are July and August and after several years of a downward trend in fatal crashes, the number of people who died in car accidents was up in 2010.

In 2009, 692 people died in car accidents across the state.  Last year, that number jumped to 754.

2010 Fatalities by Northern Indiana County:

Elkhart – 24

St. Joseph – 15

Kosciusko – 7

LaPorte – 18

Marshall – 7

Pulaski – 1

Starke – 10


Fulton – 2

The Traffic Safety Facts report pinpoints where fatal accidents happened, breaking down the information on a county-by-county basis.  Most of the fatalities in our area were wide-spread – some happened on rural county roads and others at busy intersections. 

The report contains 190 pages of traffic safety statistics pulled from police crash reports across the state. 

From those reports, the Criminal Justice Institute was able to discern the top five intersections in each county where crashes – not necessarily fatal accidents – happened last year.

2010 Most Frequent Collisions in St. Joseph County:

  1. Douglas Rd. & Grape Rd. – 17 crashes
  2. Edison Lakes Pkwy & Main St – 16 crashes
  3. Edison Rd. & Grape Rd – 16 crashes
  4. SR 23 & Main St. – 16 crashes
  5. SR 933 & Douglas Rd. – 12 crashes

The only fatality reported among those intersections was a car vs. motorcycle accident at SR 933 & Douglas Rd.

Both police and street crews attribute most of those crashes to sheer traffic volume.  Edison and Grape Roads, for example, is the busiest intersection in the county, according to Mishawaka Street Commissioner Mike Watson.  Most of the crashes that happened there were minor fender benders. 

2010 Most Frequent Collisions in Elkhart County:

  1. CR 13 & CR 45 – 17 crashes
  2. CR 20 & SR 19 – 15 crashes
  3. SR 15 & US 33 – 14 crashes
  4. US 20 & Unknown – 13 crashes
  5. CR 17 & CR 18 – 12 crashes 

2010 Most Frequent Collisions in LaPorte County:

  1. US 35 & SR 2 – 17 crashes
  2. US 30 & US 421 – 12 crashes
  3. US 20 & SR 39 – 10 crashes
  4. US 20 & US 421 – 10 crashes

INDOT spokesman Jim Pinkerton told WSBT traffic volume is probably the cause of accidents at intersections along the state highways in LaPorte County – lots of drivers travel those roads on a daily basis.  He also said the state is always evaluating the safety of its roads and intersections and drivers should remember that paying attention and wearing their seat belts saves lives.

Read the entire report from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, including the age group of drivers involved in those crashes, how many crashes were alcohol related and even how many drivers were wearing seatbelts when they crashed. 

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