There’s a nationwide debate over who has the worst drivers, they debate it as though it’s a badge of honor, and everyone claims it’s where they live. Turns out, those in Wyoming have proprietary rights to this title.
In a report done by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute that looked at car crash fatalities in all 50 states, Wyoming led in the highest traffic crash fatality of 24.7 per 100,000 people.
Intersections are some of the more dangerous locations in Cheyenne. In 2017, data collected from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WyDOT) stated that there were 105 fatal crashes at intersections in Wyoming, 3,354 non-fatal injury crashes, and at least 2,753 non-injury crashes involving an intersection.
Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently identified the most dangerous intersections in each state of the U.S., and in Cheyenne the data shows that the most dangerous intersection is where Central Avenue crosses Yellowstone Road, and the second most dangerous is where Dell Range Boulevard crosses Converse Avenue. Typically, intersections have an increased likelihood for traffic accidents, across the U.S. 25 percent of accident fatalities and 50 percent of accident injuries occur at intersections.
In a report from October in 2018 from the Tribune, a local woman died as a result of an accident placed at the intersection of Whitney road and U.S. Highway 30. This horrific accident is an example of dangerous intersections in Cheyenne and drivers not using sufficient discretion for the safety of other drivers. This accident prompted a proposal from the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization to study the area. On Feb. 1 the Cheyenne Metropolitan planning organization solicited a request for proposals named: A Land Use and Transportation Update to PlanCheyenne, The Cheyenne Area Master Plan 2019-2045. The proposals are due by 4 p.m. March 1.
Accidents are most commonly caused by speeding, drunken driving, red-light jumping and an increase in distracted driving. Cheyenne police are also reminding drivers to stay in the nearest available lane while turning in an intersection, due to a significant number of drivers making illegal turns.
These aren’t startling statistics, perhaps those claiming the title of possessing the state’s worst drivers aren’t the great drivers they think they are. Takes one to know one mentality. There’s apparent risk in violating the safety of others when practicing unsafe driving practices.
To decrease fatal and non-fatal accidents in Cheyenne, drivers must be conscientious of the basic rules of the road. We can no longer be complacent when this issue is damaging the lives of those in our community. There’s a certain level of being so self-delusional that you ignore the inherent risk factors of exceeding speed limits, to save a negligible amount of time, a few minutes at the very most. Respect for human life should trump the text that can wait 15 minutes to get to your next location to reply.
We believe that WyDOT should conduct an impact study report on the specific and most dangerous intersections in Cheyenne and Wyoming to determine factors that can decrease traffic-related accidents.