Anybody who drives around Billings on a regular basis knows that certain intersections seem to be more trouble prone than others. To those who know, it may come as no surprise that the most recent annual report of the Billings Police Department identified the intersection of Main Street and Airport Road and the intersection of Main Street and Lake Elmo Drive as the two most dangerous intersections in the city when it comes to the risk of a car accident.

The main source of danger at the top two intersections stems from the high incidence of drivers making right hand turns to access local businesses. According to the city’s police chief, accidents at those intersections tend to happen because inattentive or distracted drivers go too fast and wind up in rear end or T-bone collisions with turning cars.

Another intersection that consistently makes the top five list is the intersection of Grand Avenue and 17th Street West. According to the police chief, the lack of a left turn arrow leads to collisions there. The chief says that those left turn accidents can be among the worst, because they tend to result in head on collisions.

Not surprisingly, the risk of a car accident is greatest during rush hour traffic between three and five in the afternoon. The police chief says that the three leading causes of accidents are distracted drivers, excessive speed and failing to obey traffic signals.

Billings’ steady growth in recent years may have changed the use and character of many city roadways. People may be failing to account for unexpected traffic on familiar streets. Nonetheless, as the police chief points out, unexpected traffic is no excuse for careless driving.

Billings residents should remember that they are entitled to fair compensation for injuries caused by a distracted or careless driver. An experienced personal injury attorney can help deal with stubborn insurance companies and at-fault drivers to make sure that accident victims get the compensation they deserve.

Source: KTVQ, “Bad driving in Billings: bad intersections,” Drew Trafton, Feb. 5, 2013