Danger zone

Whitney and Sherman Ave. intersection unsafe

By on October 14, 2014

I got into a car accident about two weeks ago. I was on Sherman Avenue, slowing down in the left turn lane at the stoplight. As I approached the light, a car pulled out of the Dunkin Donuts parking lot and slammed into my driver’s side door. I have a 2005 Ford Focus—a significantly smaller car in comparison to the Toyota Highland that hit me.

Thankfully, both of us were OK, but my car was quite damaged. After pulling over, I tried to get out of my car, but the driver’s side door was so damaged that it was jammed shut. I had to hop over the center console to the passenger’s side in order to get out.

When the police officer came, he declared that I was not at fault for the accident. The other driver, a Hamden resident, apologized numerous times and said something along the lines of, “I can’t believe this happened. I’m 50 years old and this is only the second car accident I’ve been in.”

Although I think this was meant to comfort me, it did the exact opposite. For some reason, I was granted to be the lucky one involved in this person’s second car accident ever. Obviously, I was not too thrilled.

And I didn’t get the sense this person was a bad driver. It was slightly raining at the time. Weather conditions may have played a role. Things happen. After all, not everything can be prevented.

Taking all of this into consideration, I decided the accident only really happened for one reason: the area is dangerous.

It probably wasn’t because it was lightly raining or that this person was a bad driver. It happened because the corner of Sherman Avenue and Whitney Avenue really isn’t that safe, especially with the entrance to the Dunkin Donuts parking lot.

Cars zip up and down both roads and many people drive entirely too fast in the parking lot itself, many times not bothering to stop completely at the stop sign before pulling out onto Sherman Ave.

I’ve pulled out of that Dunkin Donuts parking plenty of times prior to the accident and I always made sure to stop completely at the sign and basically triple check the roads before leaving the parking lot. So I could sympathize with the person who hit me, simply because it is not a safe area. The accident isn’t necessarily her fault, even though her insurance company put the blame on her.

The Sherman Avenue entrance to the parking lot, for example, is entirely too close to the intersection. People often turn on red, making it difficult to know when it’s safe to go. Add some drizzle to the equation and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

We all know Sherman Avenue can be dangerous. After all, just last week a student was hit by a car when he was trying to cross the street right at the bottom of York Hill. Hopefully these accidents will help students and residents alike to drive more safely and take their time when driving on Sherman or Whitney Avenue.

Since there are two ways to enter the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, the intersection of the two roads would be safer as a whole if the Sherman Avenue entrance was closed off. This would cut down on traffic and make the intersection and the parking lot safer to navigate.

This suggestion isn’t likely to happen, but it’s the best solution there is to avoiding future car accidents like mine. You can warn people to be more cautious all you want, but simply telling people to drive slower alone just isn’t going to work. It’s only when people are actually in the situation themselves that they begin to think.

 

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About Sara Kozlowski

Arts & Life Editor
Email: artslife@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @sara_koz
Year: 2015
Major: Print journalism