Driving can be dangerous, period. Every time you start your vehicle, you are risking life and limb for the convenience (and necessity) of rapid transportation. Between road conditions, aggressive drivers, and common distractions, approximately 800 individuals pass away in car accidents in Arizona in an average year. Don't become a statistic -- practice defensive driving, don't drive drunk or fatigued, don't use your cell phone, and, if at all possible, avoid the following dangerous roadways in the Phoenix area. At the very least, be on heightened alert when you have to travel any of these.
As a major corridor through the Valley, Bell Rd. carries a lot of traffic and makes a lot of turns. So it should be no surprise that Bell is one of the most, if not the most, dangerous roads in Phoenix. It is one of the only east-west options in northern Phoenix, and it is estimated that 90,000 drivers use this roadway every day. The problem is the large number of intersections and surrounding strip malls that attract many motorists. Be especially careful at the 7th St. intersection. Smart drivers stick to Union Hills Dr. just to the north, at least between Agua Fria River and Tatum Blvd.
You knew I-10 would be on this list. This span has caused up to 85 fatalities in a single year (out of 700 across all of Arizona). The problem isn't just the number of accidents, but the severity of the crashes due to freeway speeds. You'll find numerous speeders along this stretch of pavement, but also plenty of aggressive, illegal passing maneuvers and inattentive drivers. Unfortunately, there is no good way to get to California without heading an hour out of your way to I-8 through Yuma, so make sure you remain calm and alert, drive with traffic instead of passing, and you'll make it to L.A. soon enough.
Indian School Road
Indian School Rd. is one of the widest roads in Maricopa County, and more lanes mean more opportunities for drivers to collide. Wide roads encourage drivers to speed and pass each other, leading to approximately 80 yearly accidents at the worst intersections. Specifically, take care at the 59th and 67th Ave. intersections.
Dunlap Avenue and 35th Avenue
Nearly 70,500 vehicles traveled through this intersection each weekday, making Dunlap and 35th one of the busiest intersections in Maricopa County. With more than 130 accidents every year, this is the single most dangerous intersection in Phoenix. Traffic engineers call this intersection a "perfect storm" due to its mixed use: it is near high-density apartments, Cortez High School, a park, and Metrocenter Mall just a mile away. This intersection is particularly well-known for the high number of red light runners, so look both ways before you go when the light turns green. Also, look out at the intersections of 35th and Peoria and Bethany Homes.
Like other major arteries, Peoria Ave. suffers from congestion and too many speeders. Take extra care at the 35th and 43rd Ave. intersections.
The road between Phoenix and Flagstaff may be scenic, but don't let the Red Rocks of Sedona distract you from driving. Especially beware of the congested conditions at The Stack, but make sure you pay attention to other drivers and remain alert as you climb your way to Flagstaff.
The most dangerous part of 59th Ave. is north through Glendale, especially the Olive and Thunderbird intersections, but be careful around the aforementioned Indian School Road intersection too.
19th Avenue and Northern Avenue
This is another major east-west artery that suffers chronic congestion, leading to reckless driving and, ultimately, more accidents. The 19th Ave. intersection is particularly dangerous due to its proximity to shopping centers, tons of condos and Rio Salado College.
Now that you know which Phoenician roads to avoid, practice defensive driving no matter where you go. If you've been in a crash, however, check out FindLaw's guide to your Phoenix car accident or learn about car accident law in general.