Study: Frontage roads have more crashes

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A study by a University of Texas Engineering professor and his team, suggests accidents are higher at intersections along frontage roads. And accidents are three times more likely at intersections with flashing red and yellow lights.

“I feel like the frontage road intersection with the highway is far more dangerous,” said Austin driver Charlie Chamberlain.

The study , led by Cockrell School of Engineering Professor Chandra Bhat and his graduate students, Marisol Castro and Rajesh Paleti, examines which types of intersections are most dangerous for drivers. Data was collected by the Texas Department of Transportation , and showed that intersections along the frontage roads of major highways pose the greatest risk for accidents.

The accidents are attributed to drivers not slowing down enough from the freeways, and because of quick lane changes on the frontage roads near the intersections.

“I’m more of an aggressive drivers, so I’m trying to focus on where I need to go, so that might be another reason people get hit or car accidents,” said driver Alex Finch.

The research also showed accidents at intersections with flashing red or yellow lights are three times more likely. Bhat suggests drivers may be confused about how to respond to flashing lights, or the results could be linked to the fact that flashing lights are typically installed at intersections that can already be dangerous to begin with.

Bhat’s study will be presented at the annual National Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22-26.

Researchers hope the findings lead to improved guidelines on how to design and construct safer intersections