Vehicle crash data comes from many sources. The U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) collect detailed information about crashes in Georgia. They make this information available to researchers and the public.
According to these sources, Augusta, GA has a few roads and intersections that see a high number of car accidents and traffic fatalities.
Here are some of the most dangerous roads and intersections in Augusta, GA.
The Recency of the Crash Data
The NHTSA and GOHS collect their information electronically. Currently, they have only released data through 2019 to the public.
The pandemic lockdowns in 2020 resulted in a nationwide drop in traffic of about 14%. Roads in Georgia saw anywhere from 15% to 39% less traffic in 2020.
While the information from 2020 might provide some insight into this anomaly, it could also give insights into the most dangerous roads and intersections in Augusta.
Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in Augusta, GA
In an average year, Augusta sees between 7,000 and 10,000 car accidents. These accidents cause between 20 and 30 deaths, including about five pedestrians, one cyclist, and two motorcyclists each year. The remaining 12 to 22 deaths include auto drivers and passengers.
Before the pandemic, data collected through the NHTSA showed several roads and intersections that had an unusually high number of car accidents and multiple fatalities. These roads and intersections include:
Mike Padgett Highway/GA-56
This highway runs south out of Augusta. The four-lane highway gives residents a fast route south while avoiding the congestion on US-25. But this road has developed a reputation as one of Georgia’s most dangerous roads.
Mike Padgett Highway saw so many fatal accidents over the past several years that the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) undertook a multi-year construction project to try to improve its safety. The features of this highway that the DOT plans to fix include:
- No protected turn lanes
- High speeds
- Busy traffic
- No dividing median
The lack of safety features has resulted in at least two fatalities every year since 1995. In some years, the highway sees as many as five deaths.
Deans Bridge Road/US1
Deans Bridge Road experiences heavy traffic, particularly near the interchange with I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway. A concentration of businesses in the area, along with heavy traffic coming off the six-lane interstate to Deans Bridge Road, results in nearly 60 accidents and two deaths every year. Some years, Deans Bridge Road sees as many as four deaths.
About half of the deaths on Deans Bridge Road come from pedestrian accidents. The road has fast speed limits and congestion most of the day. It also has six lanes at its widest section near I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway. These factors make Deans Bridge Road very dangerous for pedestrians trying to cross it.
Long stretches of I-20 have relatively safe records. But one ramp sees over 50 accidents every year.
The onramps and exit ramps at Washington Road have a reputation for car accidents. At this interchange, Washington Road has six lanes. Congestion and accidents on the interstate can cause cars to back up onto Washington Road, creating a traffic hazard for drivers using Washington Road or entering I-20.
This interchange also uses cloverleaf onramps. These types of onramps prevent cars that are entering I-20 from appropriately accelerating to freeway speeds. As a result, merging accidents and rear-end collisions can happen as cars attempt to enter onto I-20.
I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway
Several interchanges with I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway see dozens of accidents every year.
Gordon Highway provides a wide, fast road for those who are heading west out of Augusta. This highway hosts many hotels, restaurants, and shops. This road sees a lot of traffic both entering onto and exiting from I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway. These factors conspire to cause over 60 accidents every year on this interchange.
Wrightsboro Road only has two lanes in each direction near the interchange with I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway. The area has five large shopping centers nearby and sees congestion throughout the day.
The low road capacity can cause traffic backups on both the road and the offramps from the interstate. This area sees about 50 accidents every year.
Peach Orchard Road/US-25
Peach Orchard Road provides access from I-520/Bobby Jones Expressway to several shopping centers and neighborhoods southwest of Augusta.
This enormous interchange is one of Augusta’s most confusing places for drivers, with ramps and roads leading to Windsor Spring Road, Peach Orchard Road, Rushing Road, and Sconyers Way. This spiderweb of roads sees about 60 car accidents annually.
Windsor Spring Road and Tobacco Road
The intersection of Windsor Spring Road and Tobacco Road is one of Augusta’s busiest interchanges. Shops, restaurants, and other businesses sit on all four corners of the intersection. Just beyond the intersection, there are several neighborhoods and housing developments.
Windsor Spring Road provides one of the few north-south routes through the area. Tobacco Road provides one of the few east-west routes. Their intersection southwest of Augusta sees a little over 50 car accidents every year.
Washington Road and Boy Scout Road
Not surprisingly, one of Augusta’s tourism centers falls on the list of most dangerous intersections.
The stretch of Washington Road near Boy Scout Road is dense with hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. This area serves to provide access to the Augusta National Golf Club, which is only two blocks away.
This intersection alone sees over 50 accidents every year.
Traveling Augusta’s Roads and Intersections
You might not be able to avoid these dangerous roads and intersections fully. Many of these roadways fall on the list simply because they see so much traffic.
But you can reduce your risk of becoming one of the accidents or fatalities near these intersections. Georgia has the fourth-highest number of traffic deaths in the country. These deaths often result from easily-changed behaviors such as speeding, following too closely, and driving while distracted or intoxicated.
Avoiding these behaviors can substantially improve your odds as you travel through the most dangerous roads and intersections in Augusta, GA.