San Diego is famous for its traffic congestion and sluggish commute times. Since there are so many people out on the roadways, it would make sense that the incidence of car accidents is higher. Thousands of people die in fatal accidents throughout the county each year, which makes it nerve-wracking to get behind the wheel. However, knowing the most common causes of car accidents can better prepare you to take corrective actions to avoid a crash.
Like most other areas of the country, one of the leading causes of car accidents in the San Diego area is speeding. Going too fast for conditions or attempting to weave in and out of traffic can be a dangerous game, one that often results in disaster. Speeding can be especially dangerous on freeways, as well as on two-lane highways and rural routes outside the city.
Improper turning can involve everything from failing to use a turn signal to attempting to turn left into oncoming traffic and failing to assure a safe distance. Improper turning can also present a serious hazard to pedestrians, who most often incur a serious injury at intersections. Turning right into a cyclist or pedestrian at a crosswalk is one of the most common ways that pedestrians incur serious injuries.
Failure to Yield
Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian or other motorist is another leading cause of car accidents throughout the county. Some of these accidents are serious, but many are minor. There are several frustrating four-way stops throughout the city that pose a danger to both motorists and pedestrians. Under San Diego’s Vision Zero project, public officials hope to reduce the number of injuries by replacing many of these dangerous intersections with roundabouts, which will not only improve traffic flow but also pedestrian safety.
Operating under the influence of alcohol or any other drug may not be one of the most common causes of car accidents in the area, but it is more likely to lead to fatalities. Drunk driving accidents are more likely to occur at high speeds and head-on collisions are common, resulting from the drunk driver drifting into the other lane.
Though California has been one of the most progressive states when it comes to distracted driving laws, motorists continue to use their mobile devices. Activities like texting and talking on the phone while driving, though illegal, continue to play a role in car accidents throughout San Diego every year.
There are several factors that might make you more likely to be in a car accident, including:
- Riding a motorcycle. Drivers are not as aware of motorcycles as they are other vehicles. As a motorcyclist, you might fit directly into a car’s blind spot, increasing your likelihood of an accident.
- Statistically, you’re far more likely to be in a car accident if you’re male.
- Younger drivers, especially teen drivers, are more likely to be involved in car accidents than adults. Risk begins to increase again over the age of 65.
- Time of Day. Statistically, accidents are most likely to occur between 5 and 6 pm – the afternoon rush hour. Drivers are tired and cranky from work, and are more likely to drive recklessly. After dark driving can also be dangerous, as this is when you’re most likely to encounter a drunk driver.
In San Diego, some car accidents are more common than others. Use this information to protect yourself and take preventive steps to avoid a crash. Even something as simple as slowing down could save a life.