We have been inundated by the white stuff already in Calgary, with Oct. 2 breaking a 104-year record for the most amount of snow falling in this month … ever. More than 38 centimetres were measured on the ground, and the roads were absolutely treacherous. Many motorists spent up to 13 hours stranded on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Calgary, prompting the shutdown of one of Canada’s busiest stretches of road, and up to 80 Calgary Transit buses ended up stuck and unable to service those waiting for transportation. CBC Calgary reported more than 250 vehicle accidents between the hours of 11 p.m. Oct. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 2, many resulting in minor injuries. A fleet of 59 sanders and 22 graders took to the streets to clean up the mess, which were supported by an additional 74 operators and 40 pieces of equipment brought in from Edmonton, Red Deer, Okotoks and Medicine Hat.
Be Extra Cautious at These Calgary Intersections
Accidents happen most often at intersections. Each year the U.S Federal Highway Administration reports approximately 2.5 million intersection accidents, most of which involve left-hand turns. Intersection crashes make up approximately 40% of all vehicle accidents, a number second only to rear-end collisions.
Knowing where accidents are most likely to happen is one way to avoid a car insurance claim. Being well aware of impending danger is a tried-and-true defensive driving technique, so be extra careful when approaching these intersections named in the Calgary Police Service’s September Monthly Statistical Report for 2014, which indicates where the most crashes occur in Calgary:
- Deerfoot Trail and 16 Avenue N.E.
- Deerfoot Trail and Glenmore Trail S.E.
- Crowchild Trail and Glenmore Trail S.W.
- Glenmore Trail and 14 Street S.W.
- Deerfoot Trail and 17 Avenue S.E.
- 16 Avenue and 36 Street N.E.
- Deerfoot Trail and Stoney Trail N.E.
- Crowchild Trail and Kensington Road N.W.
- Deerfoot Trail and Southland Drive S.E.
- McKnight Boulevard and 68 Street N.E.
- 32 Avenue and 36 Street N.E.
Failure to yield the right of way at an uncontrolled intersection resulted in five fatal and 229 non-fatal collisions in 2016 states Transportation Alberta’s compilation of traffic collision statistics for that year. The DailyHive.com went further with those numbers, identifying the14 most dangerous uncontrolled intersections in Calgary based on Transportation Association of Canada’s (TAC) warrant procedure, which assigns uncontrolled intersections with a TAC score. Anything over 100 means a traffic signal should be installed. Six intersections in Calgary scored over 100:
- Riverfront Avenue and 1 Street S.W. (TAC score: 188)
- 128 Avenue and Redstone Street/Skyview Ranch Road N.E. (TAC score: 166)
- Bridlewood Road and James McKevitt Road S.W. (TAC score: 148)
- 80 Avenue and Martha’s Way/52nd Street N.E. (TAC score: 137)
- Shaganappi Trail and Sherwood Gate N.W. (TAC score: 128)
- Westwinds Drive and 47th Street N.E. (TAC score: 102)
CBC Calgary also recently polled Calgarians to discover which intersections make their commute unbearable at times. Although they may not rank as high for incidences of accidents, they definitely rank high for causing extreme frustration in drivers. Here’s what’s driving you crazy on your daily drives:
- Macleod Trail at 25th Avenue is known for too-short green lights, which mean not enough vehicles can get through.
- St. George’s Drive at 12th Street N.E. doesn’t allow southbound drivers to turn right on to 12th Street N.E.
- 16th Avenue N.W. to 14th Street N.W. is infamous for a very long wait on 16th Avenue for an advance green to turn left on to 14th Street
- Fairmount Drive S.E. is a busy road, and drivers say turning left on to Southland Drive is a scary gamble.
- 10th Street N.W. at Kensington Road is one of two intersections placed very close to each other, which makes for a long wait to try to get into downtown at rush hour
- 8th Street and 10th Avenue S.W. is just slow, with lots of traffic and pedestrians making it hard for anyone to get through
- McKnight Boulevard to Deerfoot Trail backs up during rush hour, leaving a long line up to get on to Deerfoot.
- 13th Avenue and 10th Street N.W. is near SAIT, and getting on to 10th Street from 13th Avenue can be a hairy proposition
Safe Winter Driving Tips
Avoid an annoying car insurance claim by taking the time to drive with care during the winter. Some tips from the experts include:
- Slowing down considerably
- Increasing following distances
- Purchasing winter tires, which are engineered to handle cold weather
- Avoiding sudden turns and abrupt or unnecessary lane changes
- Signaling your intentions well in advance
- Eliminating distractions and never texting or using your cell phone while behind the wheel
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