Most Dangerous Intersections in Brighton, CO

As long as people can drive, the possibility of accidents will always exist. A recent Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) news release reminds us of this unfortunate fact. More than 670 people died while traveling on Colorado state roads in 2021, according to CDOT. This figure is the highest number of deaths on Colorado roads since 2002 and is expected to rise as final numbers come in.

Construction projects in the Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood metropolitan areas aim to ease traffic woes and make Brighton's roads safer. Still, certain areas stand out as the most dangerous intersections in Brighton, Colorado, and residents should recognize them as places where they need to be extra careful or avoid them altogether.

Where Are Brighton, CO's Most Dangerous Intersections?

Brighton, Colorado, home to nearly 40,000 people, is 20 miles northeast of Denver. The Brighton area has grown from a rural farming town to a traffic-heavy suburban community extending across two counties—Adams and Weld. Both are among the Colorado counties with the most traffic fatalities in 2021. Adams County had 66 fatalities, while Weld County had 46.

You will likely find the most dangerous intersections in Brighton, Colorado along the U.S. Route 85 corridor. This is consistent with the city's past and current projects to improve the corridor, including the highway itself and other nearby roads. This highway, which runs north and south through Brighton, is a major transportation corridor for commercial trucks that haul agricultural and natural products to their destinations.

Alongside the corridor is the railroad, which contributes to the region's importance as railroad cars haul goods throughout the country. Because traffic is heavy on this stretch of highway, the potential for severe and deadly crashes is there, along with other challenges. Area transportation officials and agencies are aware of these challenges and have taken them on to help keep people safe.

U.S. Route 85 Has Been on Brighton's Radar for a Long Time

According to a Brighton report, the city and 15 other government agencies entered into an agreement with CDOT in 1999 to approve an access control plan for U.S. Route 85, including Interstate 76 (I-76, another highway that runs east of U.S. Route 85) to Weld County Road 80. The plan’s development shows that this corridor has been a concern for traffic improvements for more than 20 years and counting.

Today, a cursory online search for traffic news in Brighton, Colorado gives an idea of how often traffic crashes occur along U.S. Route 85, many of them causing serious injuries or fatalities. According to CDOT data, there were eight fatal accidents in Brighton in 2021.

Some of Brighton's Troublesome Spots Intersect with U.S. Route 85

In 2018, CDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, Brighton, Commerce City, and other area cities partnered to improve the transportation network between U.S. Route 85 and several avenues that cross at various points along the highway. These could be considered among the most dangerous routes in the area. The locations are:

  • S. Route 85 and 104th Avenue
  • S. Route 85 and 112th Avenue
  • S. Route 85 and 120th Avenue (in Brighton)
  • S. Route 85 and 124th Avenue (in Brighton)

The project specifically lists reducing the "higher than expected number of rear-end crashes" at U.S. Route 85 and 120th Avenue in Brighton, as well as U.S. Route 85 and 104th Avenue.

In February 2022, just three miles down the street from Brighton, a car crash at U.S. Route 85 and 112th Avenue in nearby Commerce City killed four teenagers and injured four others. According to Fox 31 (KDVR), Commerce City police confirmed that speeding was a factor in the head-on crash.

If you have been injured or suffered the loss of a loved one on U.S. Route 85, our Brighton car accident lawyer may be able help.

Sable Boulevard Is Another Road to Watch in Brighton, CO

Accidents also happen at intersections along Sable Boulevard in Brighton. People traveling in these areas should be on the lookout for speeding drivers. In recent years, there has been a five-car fatal crash, a school bus crash, and other accidents.

In February 2022, Brighton posted a news release about installing a traffic signal at 144th Avenue and Sable Boulevard to ease traffic delays and reduce "the severity and frequency of accidents" along the busy corridor.

What Makes an Intersection Dangerous?

According to CDOT, intersections exist to allow road users to move in various directions at the same time with ease and comfort. Road users include cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and others. Intersections may or may not have a traffic signal or some kind of traffic control guide.

Our Brighton car accident team have handled many cases. From those cases, it is safe to say that any of the factors below can make an intersection dangerous for the people who use it:

Capacity: If too many vehicles and other road users move through an intersection at once, the potential for deadly accidents becomes higher. This is why some Brighton traffic plans have called for installing more traffic signals and creating additional turn lanes to improve traffic flow.

Angle alignment: If the roads cross at acute angles, it can affect a driver's visibility, especially truck drivers. According to CDOT, when a truck turns at an obtuse angle, the driver has blind areas on the right side of the vehicle. Acute-angle intersections increase the exposure time of vehicles crossing the main traffic flow and may increase the potential for accidents.

Speeding: Driving above the posted speed limit is dangerous for everyone, not just the speeding driver. Impatient motorists may drive too fast, try to beat a traffic light before it turns red, or rush through a stop sign, then end up running into another vehicle or person.

Unclear street layouts: As mentioned above, intersections must consider certain design elements during the planning stages—this is a safety issue, not just an aesthetic one. However, when an intersection's layout is hard to follow, it can be easy to speed up when one needs to slow down or miss signage that warns motorists to stop or change direction for a new traffic pattern. Confusing traffic intersection layouts often cause drivers to run into another vehicle because they were not prepared to stop.

Turns: Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), crashes that occur at intersections are frequently caused by the turns motorists make. Vehicles turning left, right, and crossing over the intersection are all at risk of getting into an accident. Of these three scenarios, left turns cause accidents most frequently (22.2% of the time).

Put Safety First While Traveling on Brighton, CO's Roads

If you have traveled on or near the most dangerous intersections in Brighton, CO, we urge you to remain alert and aware of your surroundings, abide by all traffic laws, and watch for anyone who is not practicing road safety. Ongoing construction projects aim to make Brighton roads safer for all who use them, but you can never be too safe in a high-volume traffic area where you share the road with large commercial trucks, speeding passenger cars, and others.

If you were injured in a vehicle accident want to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, the Brighton car accident attorneys at Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC are ready to help. To learn how you can recover the losses you have suffered, call us today for a free consultation at 303-543-1000.

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