When it comes to crashes in Sioux Falls, more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more accidents. Some segments are less crash prone than traffic counts would indicate.

The figures used in this analysis are average daily traffic from 2014 and crashes recorded from 2012 through 2015. Numbers show that caution is advised when traveling through certain zones and in a couple of instances, construction makes a big difference in the lack of accidents.

Also factoring in these numbers are the number of traffic inlets over these segments and the distance involved from one intersection to another as reference points. For example, one area may have a higher number of accidents that happens in a bigger amount of space.

Take 41st Street and Louise Avenue. Having the Big Sioux River nearby increases the survey area as far as the City is concerned for calculating crash data. The eastern segment of that area stretches all the way to Kiwanis Avenue. The other “spokes” are much shorter that feed that junction with the north side stopping at Walmart, Shirley Avenue to the west and Empire Place to the south. This whole area totaled 194 crashes over four years. Plus this area is the highest traveled stretch of street in the city.

You could make a case that 41st and Western Avenue is more likely to produce a fender-bender with fewer cars as the 9th highest traffic count in the city and a tighter area than 41st and Louise. The City uses only three “spokes” with no data on the north coming out of a residential area, 49th Street is the mark to the south, Holly to the west and West Avenue going eastward. A whopping 171 crashes came in that area.

Not far behind on the danger scale is 41st and Minnesota with the same makeup as the junction with Western and is the 7th most cars flowing through. There are only three listed access points with residential on the eastern stretch, Norton Avenue to the west, 37th Street on the north side and I-229 to the south. Over the past four years 135 crashes took place.

The other interesting factor in the numbers is 57th and Louise which is the 2nd highest in traffic counts, but only 122 reported crashes. Plus there is a lot of distance to the east and west from Solberg to Western and 49th Street to the north with I-229 Southbound on the south end.

Lastly there’s the junctions with controlled access highways. Three of them get heavy traffic, but two of them are pretty safe. 41st Street from Terry Avenue to Empire Place which has cars coming off and going on I-29 has 122 accidents in the survey period.

Compare that to 10th Street and I-229 or 12th Street and I-29 with just a few thousand fewer cars per day and only 48 and 40 crashes respectively. The one similarity to the places with lower numbers is the design of the intersection. Both of these are “Center Point” intersections where all the signals are in one place which may have a major influence of controlling traffic flow. The amount of distance covered reveals a little more evidence of safety on 12th Street because it’s double compared to 41st and 10th Streets.

In conclusion, 41st Street as a whole is still a popular stretch of road. Just don’t let your guard down when you get past Louise Avenue.


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