A notorious local intersection was the site of yet another serious car accident on September 21. Traffic was backed up in all directions as first responders worked at the scene of what appeared to be a two vehicle collision at the intersection of County Road 43 and South Gower Drive.
The crash occurred at approximately 9:30 am, with two badly damaged vehicles ending up in the ditch at the southwest corner of the intersection. From the observable damage, it appears that the red car may have struck the side of the black car, but this is purely speculation. Police, fire and ambulance vehicles were all on scene, with one lane of County Road 43 blocked by a firetruck, and one lane of South Gower Drive blocked by an ambulance. As a result of the lane reductions, police were controlling traffic, directing only one direction to move at a time in short intervals.
The intersection at South Gower Drive is known for the high frequency of accidents that occur there, including accidents that occasionally result in fatalities. Visibility is generally good at the intersection, but the volume of traffic on both roads likely contributes to the high number of collisions. Since the traffic on County Road 43 does not stop at the intersection, drivers are likely inclined to take risks and cut other drivers off during periods of the day during which there is near continuous traffic on the highway. Drivers on County Road 43 are warned of the approaching intersection with a “proceed with caution” sign and a flashing yellow light. The broken centre line has also been replaced with a double solid line on the stretch of highway that runs through the intersection to discourage passing. For drivers on South Gower Drive, a flashing red light and a sign reading “cross traffic does not stop” warns drivers of the intersection’s danger.
Several years ago, it was announced that the intersection in question is expected to be fitted with a roundabout to counteract the increasing problem of collisions at the location. In fact, this decision was made in 2019, with a moving deadline for the completion of the work which was predicted late last year to be completed some time in 2022. With the final few months of the year looming, and no signs of construction yet at the intersection, questions still remain about timelines for the project.
In the meantime, drivers would do well to have patience, even at the most frustrating of intersections. Turning onto a busy County Road in unrelenting traffic can be frustrating, which can lead to impulsive decisions in even the most patient and reasonable of individuals, but the goal of being on time should not come with a sacrifice of personal safety or the safety of others. Sitting at an intersection waiting to proceed can feel like an eternity, but in reality, it likely takes one or two minutes on average for a safe opening in traffic to emerge. One or two minutes should always be seen as worth it for the sake of safety.
In the case of the collision on September 21, no details were reported by the Ontario Provincial Police as of the time of writing. Casualties from the accident are unknown.