While there are many roads in the South County area where car crashes occur, there are some common denominators at the most accident prone intersections -- inattention, speeding and shopping destinations.
In fact, the most dangerous intersection in Fenton is not an intersection at all, but rather, the parking lots at the Gravois Bluffs shopping development.
report 53 accidents since the beginning of the year on the vast parking lots at Gravois Bluffs, where shoppers cruise through the driving lanes or run into another vehicle when they are backing into, or out of their parking space.
"People just don't pay attention to what they are doing," said Capt Jeff Bader, commander of the St. Louis County Police Department's Fenton Precinct.
Fenton Neighborhood Policing Officer Aaron Dilks says inattention at an intersection when a driver is yielding to others, and then possibly stopping when negotiating a left turn, often results in minor accidents.
Inattention also is cited by Crestwood police in the majority of accidents there. Crestwood police say 30 of the 205 accidents in Crestwood in 2011 were due to inattention of the driver.
The worst intersections in Crestwood? The busy Watson Road retail corridor is the busiest as 106 crashes (52 percent) occurred on Watson Road. There were 13 accidents at Watson and Sappington roads, 10 at Watson Road and Glenwood Drive and six at Watson and Rock Hill roads.
Even as the old Crestwood Plaza shopping mecca has all-but closed its doors, most Watson Road accidents in 2011 occurred in the stretch of road in front of Crestwood Court, the successor to the retail-rich plaza.
Most of the Crestwood accidents occur on Mondays and Thursdays at about 2:25 p.m., according to police reports. More than 80 percent of the crashes resulted in property damage, but only a little more than 20 percent caused an injury.
In the Southwest Precinct of the St. Louis County Police Department, Officer Dave Sebek reports that the Affton area's high accident intersections are (in no particular order):
- Interstate 55 and S. Lindbergh Boulevard
- Interstate 270 and Tesson Ferry Road
- Interstate 270and Interstate 55
- Tesson Ferry Road and Kennerly Road
- Butler Hill Road and Interstate 55
In Mehlville and Oakville, police did not rank the most dangerous intersections or provide a total number of accidents, but said, based on the number of tickets it issues at accidents, the following intersections (in no particular order) are where most accidents occur.
- Reavis Barracks Road and Union Road.
- Reavis Barracks Road and Green Park Road.
- Reavis Barracks Road and Lemay Ferry Road.
- Lindbergh Boulevard and Union Road.
- Lindbergh Boulevard and Crescent Drive
- Lemay Ferry Road and Forder Road.
- Lindbergh Boulevard and Lemay Ferry Road.
- Lemay Ferry Road and South County Centerway.
- Telegraph Road and Interstate 255.
- Telegraph Road and Forder Roads.
- Lindbergh Boulevard and Interstate 255.
- Telegraph Road and Erb Road.
- Telegraph Road and Baumgartner Road.
Many of the intersections are at or near the busy South County Centre shopping mall.
"Those are the places we monitor because of the high call volume there," said neighborhood policing Officer Mike Schira, of the St. Louis County Police Department South County Precinct. "But we don't keep track of the number of accidents at those intersections."
Speed and traffic volume also can be a factor in car crashes. In Fenton, the majority of accidents occur along Highway 141, Highway 30 and Bowles Avenue near Interstate 44. Those are among the most travelled thoroughfares in the city and also where the speed limit is higher than on many of the more twisting roadways in the area.
Bader said drivers need to be more watchful and more alert when travelling on Fenton's busy roads -- and to slow down. That was the cause of the city's only traffic fatalities this year, when a car was travelling too fast on Old Highway 141 and could not negotiate a curve near the entrance to Gravois Bluffs and slammed into a tree, killing the driver and a passenger.