cars on a busy road

Top Most Dangerous Intersections in Vancouver BC & Why

Vancouver has a five year average of 8,600 collisions occurring at major intersections resulting in approximately 5,000 injuries per year. In 2013, the top most dangerous Vancouver intersections were reported as follows:

  1. Knight Street including Knight Street Bridge and SE Marine Drive and SE on and off-ramps and SE Marine, which had 230 intersection crashes in 2013 alone
  2. Burrard Street and Burrard Street Bridge and the Pacific Street & Pacific Street onramp and off-ramp
  3. East 1st Avenue and East 1 Avenue off ramp and East 1st Avenue onramp and Rupert Street off- ramp and TransCanada Highway

Vancouver is the most densely populated municipality in Canada and is a major tourist destination. Local traffic, tour buses, transport trucks, taxis, bicycles and pedestrians make defensive driving in Vancouver a necessity. During the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., more than one in five fatalities or accidents causing serious injury will be reported at intersections. So, what’s causing these intersection crashes?

Negligence & Recklessness Causing Car Accidents

Studies show that two of the most common reasons for intersection collisions are driver negligence and recklessness. Running a red light and failure to observe the yield or stop signs are the most common causes of crashes in city traffic. Speeding and tailgating don't leave reckless drivers with enough time to correct and avoid collisions with cars immediately in front or approaching from the side.

Negligence and recklessness can cause serious accidents, even when the impact is at a low velocity. In the case of Dabu v. Schwab, 2016 BCSC 613, for example, Justice Steeves determined that Ms. Schwab was driving too close and was negligent in rear ending Ms. Dabu at an intersection. Ms. Schwab admitted liability and Ms. Dabu was awarded a total of $305,629 in damages in addition to her costs.

Knowing Who Has the Right of Way Can Help You Avoid a Car Accident

Ignoring or failing to check for oncoming traffic, bicycles or pedestrians when turning left or right can result in collisions or possible fatalities. Drivers that don’t notice changing signage at intersections could proceed incorrectly as a result and get into a collision with an automobile, motorcyclist, truck, bus, bicyclist or pedestrian that has the right of way.

In the automobile-pedestrian collision of Diep v. Cunha, 2015 BCSC 819, for example, it was found that the accident was solely caused by the driver’s negligence in failing to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Ms. Diep was crossing East Broadway at the intersection with Renfrew Street in Vancouver when she was struck by Ms. Cunha’s vehicle, which was moving slowly at the time of the impact. The contact with Ms. Diep was slight and she was not knocked down but was struck on her left leg. Ms. Diep was awarded total damages in the amount of $373,973 and her related costs.

Distracted Driving

Many drivers are tempted to use their cellular or mobile devices while approaching an intersection. A three second distraction can result in a serious collision. Distraction is easy to spot at intersections where drivers are stopped at red lights. RCMP in BC is now setting up cameras at various intersections in response to the number of fatalities related to distracted driving. The new technology will be effective at Vancouver’s most dangerous intersections.

Poor Visibility

Lack of intersection visibility can be a contributing factor in collisions where the driver has approached from a sharp corner, hill or bridge. Large vehicles such as buses and trucks which must use major intersections to deliver passengers and goods can obstruct the view of drivers. This obstruction results in drivers who are having to maneuver around unexpected obstacles such as pedestrians or bicycles that cannot be avoided if the driver is travelling too fast, not obeying the right of way signage or not allowing enough distance to stop suddenly.

Merging into Traffic

A large number of accidents in Vancouver are the result of drivers failing to accommodate others merging into traffic. For example, in Woelders v. Gaudette 2016 BCSC 1066, the plaintiff Ms. Woelders was stopped to merge with oncoming traffic when she was rear-ended. She sustained soft tissue injuries from the accident and was awarded $338,272 including special damages and her costs related to the claim.

Contact Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation After a Vancouver Intersection Accident

Collisions at any intersection can result in damage to your vehicle, loss of property and cause serious injuries. At Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation, we can assess your obligations if you are alleged to be at fault in the event of an accident or to discuss your rights as an injured party and advise you on what compensation for damages or injury you are entitled to. Contact our Vancouver law firm immediately if you are involved in an intersection car accident at 604-654-2250.

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