A safety audit of Calgary's Deerfoot Trail confirms that speeding is the most common violation, while rear-end collisions make up the majority of crashes on the busy roadway.

The first phase of the study, presented to the land use, planning and transportation committee Wednesday, found that the majority of crashes happened near interchanges stretching from McKnight Boulevard to Glenmore Trail.

The five areas most prone to collisions, based on frequency, rate and severity, were identified as:

  • Memorial Drive.
  • 16th Avenue N.E.
  • 32nd Avenue N.E.
  • 17th Avenue S.E.
  • Glenmore Trail.

About 220,000 vehicles travel the north-south route through east Calgary every day with Memorial Drive identified as the busiest interchange. An increasing number of serious collisions led city council to green-light the study in May 2007.

Types of crashes Percentage
Rear end 67
Sideswipe 14
Right angle 8
Off road 4
Left turn across path 4
Backing 2
Passing - left turn 1
 Source: Deerfoot Trail corridor safety review

The audit, using data from 2006, found that the majority of crashes on Deerfoot Trail happened on dry pavement during daylight.

Rear-end and sideswipe crashes were the most common type of collisions, which are linked to the top three violations of speeding, unsafe lane changes and following too closely, according to the study.

The report found that no education campaign existed to target safety among drivers on Deerfoot Trail and that police enforcement is hindered by limited staff and a lack of safe places for officers to stop along the roadway.

The audit's second phase, expected in August, will address potential improvement options, which may include increasing the width of shoulders on the Deerfoot and overpasses, or reducing the speed limit to 80 km/h.