Here’s where you’re likely to get into a crash for following too closely in Edmonton

Yellowhead Trail and 149 Street, October 15, 2014. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

The number of collisions on Edmonton roads caused by drivers following too closely dropped in 2016 over 2015. However, the city said many of the 8,900 crashes could have been avoided if drivers left more space between vehicles.

Numbers released Monday show 39 per cent of the collisions in Edmonton in 2016 were due to drivers following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them. (See the top collision locations below).

READ MORE: Stop complaining, Canada: Your traffic is bad, but far from worst

The number 1 reason people tailgate is because they’re frustrated the vehicle ahead of them is not going fast enough, according to the 2016 Traffic Safety Culture Survey.

“When it is snowing, most people realize that they need to leave lots of space between their vehicle and the one they are following. However, when roads are free of snow, people tend to forget that the sand and gravel on the road acts like ball bearings under their tires,” said Laura Thue, senior research coordinator with the City of Edmonton’s Traffic Safety department.

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“Watching your speed and slowing down early before intersections can prevent you from having a very bad day.”

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The city also released the top locations for following-too-closely collisions for 2016. Five of the intersections also made last year’s list.

Here’s a list of the top locations where following too closely led to a collision in 2016:

  • 107 Avenue NW & 142 Street NW – 88 collisions (No. 2 spot in 2015 with 58 collisions)
  • Yellowhead Trail & 121 Street NW – 65 collisions
  • Yellowhead Trail & 149 Street NW – 65 collisions (No. 1 spot in 2015 with 65 collisions)
  • Yellowhead Trail & 127 Street NW – 58 collisions (No. 7 spot in 2015 with 42 collisions)
  • 23 Avenue NW & 91 Street NW – 46 collisions (No. 9 spot in 2015 with 39 collisions)
  • 34 Avenue NW & 91 Street NW – 44 collisions
  • Yellowhead Trail & Fort Road – 44 collisions
  • 34 Avenue NW & Gateway Boulevard – 43 collisions
  • 34 Avenue NW & Calgary Trail – 41 collisions
  • 137 Avenue NW & 97 Street NW – 40 collisions (No. 3 spot in 2015 with 48 collisions)
  • Rabbit Hill Road & Terwillegar Drive – 40 collisions

Graphic by Tonia Huynh, Global News

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READ MORE: Following too closely? Edmonton’s top 10 intersections for crashes in 2015

According to a Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) study released earlier this year, Edmonton drivers spend an average of nearly 14 minutes stuck in traffic every day.

The worst bottleneck is on Gateway Boulevard between Whitemud Drive and 34 Avenue. The study said this spot alone causes 92,000 hours of driver delays.

The city said collisions from following too closely can also happen when a driver is merging. When shoulder checking, drivers assume the vehicle ahead of them has gone so they start to go, not realizing the vehicle in front of them has stopped.

“You need to leave space between vehicles even in a merge lane,” Thue said. “You can reduce your odds of a being in rear-end collision with a simple change in how you drive.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s OK to cheat’ when merging into traffic, AMA says

There were approximately 800 fewer following-too-closely collisions in 2016 than in 2015.

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