Pembroke Pines Intersection Tops Most Dangerous in FL

Fri October 10, 2003 - Southeast Edition

A Pembroke Pines, FL, intersection ranks first on a new list of the 10 most dangerous intersections in Florida compiled by State Farm Insurance, the largest auto insurer in the state and in the nation.

No. 1 on the list is the junction of Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard. That intersection, which is in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area, also ranks first on a separate State Farm list of the most dangerous intersections in the United States.

Four of the intersections on the Florida list are in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area and three more are in or near Orlando.

State Farm put together the new list based on crashes resulting in claims by its policyholders in 1999 and 2000.

Like the initial list, based on 1998 data, this one takes into account the number of crashes at various intersections and the percentage of vehicles insured by State Farm in areas where the intersections are located. The new list also takes into account how many crashes involved injury and the severity of those crashes.

State Farm, an advocate of auto and highway safety, conducts these analyses to focus attention on a new way of evaluating intersection design by analyzing driver behavior and placing greater emphasis on safety-driven solutions to intersection problems. This year the company will make $5 million available to communities to study and, in some cases, make physical changes to enhance safety at specific intersections.

The intersection of Hanley Road and Waters Avenue in Tampa ranks as the second-most dangerous in Florida. Third is State Highway 50 and State Highway 436 in Orlando. Rounding out the first five are U.S. Highway 19 and Sunset Point Drive in Clearwater, fourth, and Sunrise Boulevard and University Drive in Plantation, fifth.

Commercial Boulevard and University Drive in Tamarac-Lauderhill is sixth on the new list, followed by Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway in Orlando, seventh. The Winter Park junction of Goldenrod Road and University Boulevard is eighth. U.S. Highway 19 and Tampa Road in Palm Harbor, and U.S. Highway 19 and Drew Street in Clearwater are ninth and 10th, respectively.

“Many intersection crashes could be prevented,” said Jim Smith, State Farm regional vice president. “Just as we did two years ago, we’ll offer communities with an intersection on our Florida list up to $20,000 for an in-depth safety study that could lead to actual improvements.” Because the Pembroke Pines intersection also is on State Farm’s national list, it is eligible for an additional grant of up to $100,000 for actual improvements.

“We are very pleased to have a partnership with State Farm Insurance on identifying measures that will help improve the safety of our motorists,” said Mayor Alex Fekete of Pembroke Pines.

Five intersections on this year’s list were on the initial Florida list. Sunset Point Road and U.S. Highway 19 in Clearwater was number one and was eighth on State Farm’s national list two years ago. Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines was fourth on the previous Florida list.

“We believe virtually all intersections where many serious crashes occur can be made safer, sometimes through relatively minor, inexpensive adjustments,” Smith said. “We’re ready to help communities make that happen, and we hope more local governments will start taking a look at how their own intersection safety can be improved.”