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Caution is key at crash prone intersections

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Colorado Springs Police Department recently released a traffic study that identified the top 25 crash locations in the city and the most likely contributing factors for those crashes.

"This is valuable information for Team Schriever members," said Master Sgt. Sarah Law, 50th Space Wing ground safety manager. "Drivers who commute to and from Schriever can use this data to help themselves in a number of ways, from deciding which routes to drive, to increasing their situational awareness in specific areas."

Lt. Col. Nathan Iven, 50 SW Safety chief, echoed the sentiment.

"Getting in our cars is one of the highest risk activities we engage in on a daily basis," Iven said. "What's really eye opening is the almost 12 percent increase in crashes [during] the past five years. From a risk management perspective, we should be putting controls in place where possible to mitigate the risk. This study points to eliminating distractions and driving sober as a start."

Interstate 25 and Woodmen Road ranked as the intersection with the highest number of crashes in 2013. The next four top-crash locations also intersected I-25, including South Nevada Avenue, West Cimarron Street, West Garden of the Gods Road and West Fillmore Street.

Barnes Road and North Powers ranked sixth.

"That's the one that really struck home with me," Law said. "I travel that intersection every single day."

Law advises Team Schriever members to take extra precaution when traveling through all of the intersections identified in the study.

"When your light turns green, take some extra time, look both ways before accelerating and make sure to follow other cars at safe distance," she said.

The study also revealed the top causes for crashes within city limits, many of should be no surprise.

"No. 1 was distracted driving, something we focus on in all of our driving safety briefings," Law said. "Texting, talking on cell phones, fiddling with radios and other instruments and even passengers can be major distractions."

Alcohol or drug impairment ranked second on the top causes list, followed by driver inexperience. The study listed drivers 16-25 as the age group most affected by inexperience.

"That's an interesting statistic because the Air Force focuses on the 18-25 age group during safety and Right Start briefings," Law said. "People also forget that being new to an area can also count as inexperience because drivers are unfamiliar with intersection and road design in the local area."

What was perhaps most surprising to Law is that roads and intersections 50 SW safety personnel discuss often with Team Schriever members didn't make the list of top crash sites.

"We focus on Highway 94, Curtis Road and Marksheffel Road," she said. "But, comparatively, I-25 was at the top of the list due to the sheer volume of traffic at those locations. The police study also helped highlight some locations that people may not have considered as high risk. People who thought Barnes and Powers, for instance, were a relatively benign intersection may now take more care when traveling through there."

Top 25 crash locations for 2013 in Colorado Springs city limits
- I-25 and East Woodmen Road - 148
- I-25 and South Nevada Avenue - 93
- I-25 and West Cimarron Street - 87
- I-25 and West Garden of the Gods Road - 77
- I-25 and West Fillmore Street - 64
- Barnes Road and North Powers Boulevard - 54
- South 8th Street and West Cimarron Street - 54
- Airport Road and South Academy Boulevard - 52
- I-25 and West Bijou Street - 50
- East Platte Avenue and North Academy Boulevard - 42
- I-25 and West Uintah Street - 42
- North Carefree Circle and North Powers Boulevard - 42
- Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Academy Boulevard - 40
- I-25 and Circle Drive - 40
- Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Union Boulevard - 38
- Constitution Avenue and North Powers Boulevard - 38
- North Powers Boulevard and Stetson Hill Boulevard - 38
- East Platte Avenue and North Murray Boulevard - 36
- East Platte Avenue and North Circle Drive - 35
- East Woodmen Road and North Academy Boulevard - 35
- Galley Road and North Academy Boulevard - 34
- Constitution Avenue and North Academy Boulevard - 32
- Dublin Boulevard and North Academy Boulevard - 30
- East Woodmen Road and North Union Boulevard - 30
- I-25 and South Tejon Street - 30

Visit or call the 50th Space Wing Safety office at 567-2848 for more traffic study details.
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