Web site highlights unsafe roadways

Published 9:19 am Monday, August 4, 2008

The University of Minnesota is debuting a new online tool aimed at helping drivers across the country spot unsafe roads more quickly.

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety is unveiling a Web site called saferoadmaps.org. The site shows the location of every fatal American road accident in 2006.

Users can type in an address and discover every fatal accident within a few miles of it, or in a particular state or ZIP code.

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The accident information comes from Federal Highway Administration public records.

For now, the site has data from only one year, but it plans to add more information each year.

This site is http://www.saferoadmaps.org.

The Tribune searched the site for 2006, the latest year available, and the site noted two fatalities in the Albert Lea area — one on Stevens Street in Albert Lea and one on County Road 14 in Pickerel Lake Township.

It said the Stevens Street incident took place at 4:06 p.m. March 17. The incident involved a 27-year-old male driver who died. It said alcohol, speeding and failing to use a seat belt were factors. It said an 18-year-old male passenger survived. It said it was unknown whether he wore a seat belt and whether he was drinking was not reported. A map pinpoints it as happening right behind Burger King’s drive-through.

It said the County 14 incident was at 6:13 p.m. July 15 and the deceased driver was a 34-year-old male. It said the man was not using a seat belt but was not speeding. It said it is unknown whether drinking was involved. The map pinpoints the wreck as about 500 feet from the junction with County 17.