Vancouver is the third most populated city in Canada. While more than 2.5 million people call the city and surrounding metropolitan area home, Vancouver is also a major destination for national and international tourists.
While it may be nice to be such a hub of activity, the presence of so many people inevitably leads to heavy traffic on our roads. With traffic comes an increased risk of car accidents in Vancouver and its surrounding communities.
Intersections are the most common locations for vehicle accidents, from rear-end collisions and cars hitting turning vehicles to pedestrian accidents. Naturally, some intersections are more dangerous than others.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has released an interactive map showing the most common accident sites in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Below we take a look at the top 5 most dangerous intersections in Vancouver and the nearby suburbs.
1. Knight Street Bridge
From 2013 to 2017, the Knight Street Bridge connecting Vancouver to Richmond was the scene of more than 2,500 car accidents. Nearly half of these were casualty crashes, meaning one or more injuries or fatalities occurred.
2. Boundary Road and Grandview Highway and Grandview Onramp
Although they travel in only one direction on each side, highway on- and off-ramps are notorious accident sites. In the Lower Mainland, the dubious distinction for most dangerous highway interchange goes to the point where Boundary Road and Grandview Highway meet between Vancouver and Burnaby. Over 2,000 accidents occurred in this area, about 35 percent of which involved casualties.
3. Brunette Avenue (Including Onramp and Off-Ramp) and Trans-Canada Highway
Although the Cape Horn Interchange seems like it would be ripe for accidents, you might be surprised to learn that the intersection with more crashes is slightly west in Coquitlam. Brunette Avenue and its onramp and off-ramp to the Trans-Canada Highway experienced 2,062 accidents over several years. Nearly half of these involved injury or death.
4. Boundary Road and Kingsway
Boundary Road makes its second appearance on the list, this time where it intersects with Kingsway in Vancouver. More than 1,600 accidents, nearly 600 with casualties, have occurred at this portion of Boundary Road just south of the dangerous intersection with Grandview Highway.
5. Pattullo Bridge
Not the most dangerous bridge in the Lower Mainland according to ICBC data, the crossing between Surrey and New Westminster is nonetheless a point of significant traffic congestion and collisions. Over 1,600 accidents have happened on the bridge, three-quarters of them on the eastern (Surrey) side. Like the Kingsway and Boundary Road intersection above, nearly 600 crashes in this location involved casualties.
Averaging data over the preceding 5 years for the Lower Mainland, the ICBC reports that approximately 50,000 people were injured in intersection crashes.
Avoiding Accidents at Intersections
According to statistics from Transport Canada, 40 percent of serious injuries in vehicle accidents and 30 percent of crash fatalities happen in intersection collisions. The majority of intersection accidents happen on urban streets, although intersections on rural roads can still be dangerous.
Now that you know some of the most hazardous intersections in and around Vancouver, it is important to consider how you can minimize your risk of a collision.
The following behaviours make an accident in an intersection more likely to occur:
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
- Failing to check crosswalks for pedestrians
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
Intersections require awareness in order to pass through safely. You must be able to gauge the distance and actions of the vehicles in front of you, what vehicles travelling in the opposite direction are going, activity on cross streets, and the presence of pedestrians. If someone is distracted, impaired, or careless, the ability to process this crucial information goes out the window. As a result, the risk of an accident within the intersection rises.
What to Do After an Intersection Accident
If your vehicle is operational and you are not seriously hurt, you should absolutely move your wrecked vehicle out of traffic. The at-fault driver should do the same. If you stay in the intersection, the risk of a secondary crash is high. If you are not blocking traffic, however, it is best to leave your car where it is; this will enable investigators to get an accurate sense of the scene.
Download our car accident checklist to make sure you protect your rights.
Heavily trafficked intersections may be equipped with technology such as red light cameras, speed cameras, and “speed-on-green” cameras to deter problem driving and habits and detect drivers who are breaking traffic laws. Although the principal purpose of these devices is to assist law enforcement, footage captured on traffic cams may be enormously helpful in supporting your claim for compensation.
Contact Our Experienced Intersection Accident Lawyers Today
Driving cautiously reduces your likelihood of causing an accident. If you notice other drivers behaving aggressively or erratically behind the wheel, the best solution is to keep a safe distance from their vehicles.
However, if you are unable to stay out of the path of a reckless driver, our experienced car accident lawyers can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. We know the devastating toll of these types of car accidents, and the lawyers at our firm will work diligently on your behalf.
Please call (604) 874-7171 to schedule your complimentary initial case evaluation. Klein Lawyers serves clients throughout Vancouver and nearby British Columbia, as well as Toronto and other areas of Canada.