New study finds intersections with stoplights more likely to see deadly crashes

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Rice University study on deadly intersections in Houston. (KTRK)

Walking through downtown Houston, Roger Hamilton can see that there's never a dull moment in Houston traffic.

"You must be vigilant, now that you got trains, buses cars, and everything. There's little to no respect for the pedestrian," Hamilton said.

A new study found that intersections with traffic lights are more likely to see fatal crashes involving people walking on the street and those on bicycles.

Yujie Hu, a research fellow at Rice University's Kinder Institute, analyzed the findings from a model that identified types of intersections that will likely attract accidents.

The study revealed that the intersections with lights are nine times more likely to have a deadly crash with pedestrians and bicyclists. When you compare the results with intersections with stop signs, Hu found that it was only 1.48 times more likely to have a fatal crash and non-controlled intersections were 0.5 times more likely to have a fatal accident.

The study was prompted by the death of Rice University Professor Marjorie Corcoran, who was hit and killed by a METRO light rail train in February.
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Corcoran was struck near at the corner of the Hermann Park bike path and Fannin, near the Houston Medical Center.

The study also found some major roads like Westheimer, Bellaire, and Richmond may not have enough signs, which can encourage jaywalking, leading to major crashes.

Hu said he hopes the research will help policymakers and engineers identify trouble spots and improve street design to promote greater safety for all users.

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traffic accidenttraffic fatalitiesrice universityHouston
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