Accidents can happen anywhere, especially at busy intersections, where countless lives intersect. As a responsible driver, you not only need to follow traffic rules but also remain vigilant for distracted or careless drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The hustle and bustle of intersections can make a split-second error lead to a chain reaction of unfortunate events. Unfortunately, Kennewick, Washington, has its share of risky intersections. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at one of Kennewick’s busiest intersections, Gage Boulevard and Steptoe Street, and discuss how we can all stay safe while driving through it. At Telaré Law, we’re not just a law firm; we’re part of this community, and your safety matters to us.
The Intersection of Gage Boulevard and Steptoe Street
Spring marked the beginning of a significant project at Kennewick’s busiest intersection, Gage Boulevard and Steptoe Street. The primary objective is to enhance traffic flow and safety at this intersection, which has witnessed its fair share of delays and accidents. In fact, it’s currently ranked fifth in terms of the number of accidents in the city. This ambitious project includes widening the intersection, upgrading turn lanes, improving sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and landscaping, as well as enhancing lighting and traffic signals. Utility work conducted by Benton PUD and Cascade Natural Gas is also part of this project, and water utilities are being relocated for more effective results. The project is anticipated to run until January 2024, with intermittent lane closures and delays during construction. The total cost of the project amounts to $3.8 million, with the aim of creating a safer and more efficient intersection for the approximately 25,000 vehicles that navigate it daily.
Understanding Intersection Safety
We all understand that there is an inherent risk in driving a car, but it is important to understand that certain traffic scenarios are more dangerous than others. Intersections are considered dangerous for several reasons, making them a common location for traffic accidents.
At Telaré Law, we believe that understanding these reasons can help drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists take necessary precautions. Some common causes of intersection accidents include:
- Conflict Points: An increase in the number of conflict points (where different road users meet) can lead to more distractions and a higher likelihood of accidents.
- Diverse Traffic Movements: Intersections involve a wide range of traffic movements, each with its unique challenges.
- Varied Traffic Control Tools: Different intersections have different traffic control devices, and not following them correctly can lead to accidents.
- Visibility Issues: Limited visibility can make it difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic or pedestrians, increasing the risk of accidents. This is especially true of commercial trucks, which have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles.
- Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents: Intersections are where pedestrians and cyclists often cross roads, making them vulnerable to accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Distractions from phones, entertainment systems, or passengers can divert a driver’s attention from the road.
- Traffic Congestion: In densely populated areas, intersections can experience heavy traffic, leading to rear-end collisions and fender-benders.
- Failure to Observe Right of Way: Misjudgment, confusion, or aggressive driving behaviors can result in accidents when one party fails to yield the right of way.
What are other dangerous intersections in Kennewick?
Local radio station 97 Rock recently published an article about the most dangerous intersections in the tri-city area, and Kennewick certainly has a few. 97 Rock showed us that by using The Washington Department of Transportation highway safety crash portal, we can see where crashes have happened in the past.
Some of the most dangerous intersections in Kennewick include:
- N Steptoe Street & W Clearwater Avenue. Steptoe needs to step it up when it comes to safety, as this road is making the list of most dangerous intersections twice – first at the corner of Gauge Boulevard, and now here. Sitting on top of a hill doesn’t help this intersection out, as drivers have a difficult time determining when other drivers are coming. This area seems particularly dangerous for motorcycles.
- US 395 & W Kennewick Avenue. This particular intersection has left many of the accident victims there injured.
- Wa 240 Ramp & US 395. AJ Brewster of 97 Rock put it best: “Never forget that 2 different fatal accidents happened within 100 yards of this location. That is almost half of the fatal accidents in the city in the entire year . Heavy semi-traffic through this tight and busy area makes it one of the most dangerous in Kennewick.”
Telaré Law Puts Safety First
While we may not be directly involved in this construction project, we care deeply about the safety of our community. The next time you approach any intersection, including Gage Boulevard and Steptoe Street, remember to proceed with caution. Not only do you want to ensure your safety, but you also want to watch out for the safety of others.
If you’ve been involved in an accident at an intersection due to someone else’s negligence, the Kennewick car accident attorneys at Telaré Law are here to help. We understand the severity of injuries caused by intersection accidents, including fatal ones. Let us handle the legal aspects of your case skillfully and delicately, ensuring the responsible parties compensate you for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, please call or submit our contact form.