Kentucky 54 Sees Increase in Collisions, Stirs Thoughts on Policy

Although the total number of accidents has remained pretty consistent over the last four years, for the first time the U.S. 60/Wendell Ford Expressway eastbound at the offramp at Kentucky 54 was found to be number one site for accidents in Daviess County. Also moving up on the list, the parking lot at the Kentucky 54 Walmart came in at number two. Rounding out the top five sites of collisions were high-risk areas of Frederick Street parking lots.

Top 10 Collision Locations in Owensboro-Daviess County

These locations include:

  1. U.S. 60 eastbound offramp at Kentucky 54
  2. Kentucky 54 Walmart parking lot
  3. Wesleyan Park Plaza parking lot
  4. Frederica Street Walmart parking lot
  5. Towne Square North parking lot
  6. Owensboro Health Regional Hospital parking lot
  7. Starlite Drive Kroger parking lot
  8. The intersection of E. Parrish Avenue and Byers Avenue
  9. The intersection of Frederica Street and Time Drive
  10. Target/Best Buy parking lots off Frederica Street

Most Collisions Occur in Concentrated Areas

Though data surrounding the topic has not been deep or extensive, what has been studied shows that not surprisingly, most collisions occur in concentrated areas of high-traffic. This is true around Kentucky 54, where construction on the Gateway Commons lifestyle center off Hayden Road is ongoing. Though the road was not open at the time that the data was collected in 2017, Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordinator Tom Lovett believes that there will be a noticeable increase in the number of collisions found in future studies

Public Policy Will Prove Difficult for Resolving Increase in Collisions

Despite this hypothesis, officials believe that it will still prove difficult to find a remedy through public policy, as most of the accidents that are occurring are small fender benders between cars in a parking lot or waiting at a light. Barry House, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Planning Engineer feels that it is so important for decision-makers to look at and analyze injury collision data, which was absent from this report.

Number of Accidents Not Proportionate with Injuries

Though fender benders can be a real pain, the number of them is not always proportionate with injuries of a serious nature. Additionally, though 2017 traffic fatalities decreased slightly from the year prior, fatalities are not always indicative of an accident’s severity – a victim’s age and physical condition can factor into their death.

Lovett believes that although future data should not eliminate information regarding minor accidents, it should also include the number of injuries. All collisions – large or small – are indicative of traffic patterns. That information can be used to better these common accident sites to reduce negative patterns.

Jiten Shah, District Executive Director for Green River Area Development explained that the most important thing is to actually determine what the document itself should be used for. Ultimately it’s up to leaders to use this data for good.

Posted in: Car Accidents