San Diego is a popular city and metropolitan area at the southern end of California, bordering Tijuana, Mexico. The influx of vehicles traveling in and out of the area can cause heavy traffic and congestion, which may increase the risk of a car accident. Although it is possible for a motor vehicle accident to occur anywhere in the area, some areas at greater risk can cause trouble for travelers passing through. Therefore, it is recommended that if you’re involved in a car accident in San Diego, you should seek the help of a car accident lawyer to protect your legal rights.

San Diego serves as a gateway for visitors entering or exiting the U.S. at the southern border and the Port of San Diego. There is also a heavy presence of trucks and shipments crossing into and through the area to various destinations across the U.S. The increased large truck traffic and foreign drivers can exacerbate roadway conditions and increase the likelihood of an accident with injuries or death.

San Diego Car Accidents by the Numbers

In the most recent reports analyzing crash data for the area, the California Office of Traffic Safety indicates that in one year, there are over 4,000 victims of traffic-related accidents in San Diego, resulting in injuries or death. If you look at San Diego County, which encompasses not only the city but all the surrounding areas of the county, the number of victims rises to over 15,000 that suffer injuries or death in a motor vehicle accident during just one year.

Highest Risk of Car Accidents in San Diego

Although it sits to the west and south, San Diego is a busy hub for travelers, residents, and tourists. Although there is a vast network of roads leading into and out of the area, San Diego is notorious for its traffic jams and road congestion year-round. Recent reports indicate that San Diego ranks 12th for the worst traffic in the nation, with the heaviest traffic reported during the afternoon weekday commutes. With more vehicles on the roads, delays, and traffic backups, there is sure to be frustration and risks to drivers caught on San Diego’s streets. As a result, your risk of a motor vehicle accident may increase depending on the area you are passing through and the road conditions in San Diego.

On Interstates and Highways

There is a complex grid of interstates and highways that provide access into and out of the San Diego area. Passengers and commercial vehicles frequent these roads daily, with thousands making a trip one way or both if it is their everyday commute.

Interstates and highways present unique dangers to travelers due to the increased speed common on these roadways and the heavy traffic maneuvering as vehicles enter and exit as they make their way to the next destination. Additionally, an accident on these fast and congested throughways can often involve multiple vehicles, resulting in devastating damage and the potential for injuries and deaths.

San Diego’s busiest interstates and highways include:

  • Interstate 5
  • Interstate 805
  • Interstate 15
  • Interstate 8
  • State Route 94
  • State Route 54
  • State Route 905
  • State Road 125

Dangerous San Diego Intersections

Freeways and interstates are not the only dangerous roads in the San Diego area. City and neighborhood streets, particularly intersections, are dangerous hotspots for car accidents in the city and the county. Intersections are dangerous crosssections because it is where vehicles meet with oncoming traffic, and there may be pedestrians, bicyclists, and others attempting to cross the road at these points.

Any intersection can present a risk to an individual on the roadway, whether you are driving a vehicle, an occupant, riding a motorcycle, or traveling by foot. There are, however, some intersections where the risk of an accident is higher, whether it is due to heavier traffic, the poor design of the roads, or typical driver behaviors. Certain intersections are more likely to experience accidents and, in turn, injuries, and deaths of vehicle occupants than others.

Examples of problematic and dangerous intersections in San Diego:

  • University Avenue and 52nd Street
  • Euclid Avenue and Naranja Street
  • 6th Avenue and Broadway
  • 4th Avenue and B Street
  • Coronado Avenue (SB) and Thermal Avenue
  • El Cajon Boulevard and 36th Street
  • 5th Avenue and B Street
  • Broadway and 5th Avenue

What Are the Causes of Car Accidents in San Diego?

In most instances of motor vehicle accidents in San Diego, it is the actions of one or multiple drivers that ultimately lead to a crash. Driver negligence remains a significant problem and threat to the safety of those that use the roads each day in San Diego. In an instant, the negligent actions of one driver can have a profound and devastating ripple effect on the vehicles around them.

Car accidents are far too common, and the deaths and injuries of thousands of victims each year are preventable. The government and agencies of San Diego recognize the deadly consequences of accidents to the drivers on the roads as well as pedestrians and bicyclists that travel the city each day. The city continues to implement safety initiatives and awareness campaigns to try to improve the dangers that many on the roads face each day.

Common problem areas that lead to accidents in San Diego include:

Distracted Drivers

There are far too many driver distraction incidents, which is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents. A driver’s inattentiveness, even for just an instant, can have widespread effects and cause serious accidents. Texting and driving, vehicle entertainment, passengers, and an endless list of activities can take a driver’s focus away from the road when behind the wheel and lead to an accident. If you are in an accident due to a driver engaging in distracted behaviors, you may be eligible for compensation for your damages from the accident.

Driving Under the Influence

Drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications can alter how a driver operates a vehicle and harm their coordination, visibility, and reaction times. Unfortunately, some drivers put the lives of others in danger by driving their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you are a victim of a drunk driver in San Diego, you can seek damages against the driver for their actions after a crash. Drivers under the influence may also face criminal charges after a crash causing injuries. Criminal charges or a criminal case will not provide you the ability to seek compensation for your losses, however. A car accident attorney can help you file a claim or lawsuit for the recovery of your damages.

Driver Fatigue

Tired drivers are dangerous drivers. A car driver falling asleep behind the wheel of a car is just as much of a threat as a drunk or distracted driver. Long work days combined with long commutes and stop and go traffic can lead to a dangerous combination of factors that lead to a crash. Fatigued drivers can lose control of their vehicle or drift into oncoming traffic, causing catastrophic damage and possibly life-threatening injuries to all involved.

Breaking Traffic Laws

In cities like San Diego, where there is heavy traffic and a high chance of delay, the impatience of drivers can quickly take over. Running lights, speeding, road rage, and improper lane changes are all common reckless behaviors of drivers in a hurry and frustrated by the road situation.

Unfortunately, when drivers act in this manner, they disrupt the flow of traffic, and more significant delays can lead to collisions with other vehicles near them. Following traffic laws, signals, and signs ensures a safe journey for those on San Diego roads. When drivers fail to follow the rules and break the law leading to an accident, they are likely negligent and liable for the damage they cause.

Poor Road Conditions

San Diego is a vast city with many roads to maintain and keep clear of debris. Deteriorating road conditions can contribute to accidents in the city and surrounding areas.

When road conditions are poor, drivers may not identify the dangers and can fail to reduce speed or adapt their driving to avoid dangers ahead. When poor road conditions contribute to an accident and the severity of a victim’s injuries, a victim may be able to seek compensation from the driver at fault and other parties whose negligence may have played a role in the crash.

A traffic accident lawyer in San Diego can review the details of your case, review applicable car insurance policies, and determine whether you have a valid claim for damages.

What Can You Do if You Are in a San Diego Car Accident?

If you find yourself injured after a car accident in San Diego, you can act to protect your rights under the law. Under California law, the parties that cause a car accident and your injuries can be liable to you for your losses arising from the crash.

While filing an insurance claim for your damages is the most common approach to getting the compensation you need, you will find the process complex and confusing.

If you are a San Diego car accident victim, these steps can help you navigate the days and weeks after a crash and take proactive steps to prepare for the fight for compensation ahead and get the help you need.

Seek Medical Care

When there are visible injuries after a car accident, it is common for victims to seek care at the nearest ER. If your injuries are severe, an ambulance will likely transport you to the nearest hospital for care.

For minor injuries, you may transport yourself or arrange for others to take you in for an evaluation at an emergency room. However, after you make it to a doctor for care, the most important thing you can do after a car accident is continue with your medical care.

Follow treatment plans and the doctor’s order to ensure you recover as best as possible with the consideration of the type and severity of injuries you sustain.

A lawyer can help you retrieve medical records and proof of your injuries to build your case against the parties responsible.

San Diego emergency rooms where you may have received treatment after a car accident include:

  • Sharp Coronado Hospital Emergency Room
  • Kaiser Permanente Emergency Room
  • Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego
  • UC San Diego Health Emergency Services
  • Sharp Memorial Hospital
  • Kindred Hospital

Gather Information

As you continue with your medical treatment, you can begin to gather the information relevant to the car accident and your injuries that may help your case.

If you cannot get to a lawyer immediately because of the severity of your injuries, gathering information in a safe location can help you organize evidence that can prove how the accident took place, who you can hold at fault, the severity of your injuries, and how the injuries affect your life. When you meet with your lawyer, you can provide them with evidence of the automobile accident to help prove your claim or lawsuit.

Find a Car Accident Lawyer

Contact a San Diego car accident attorney. You don’t need to try to handle an accident claim against the insurance company and defendants on your own. For a plaintiff to succeed at receiving compensation for a car accident in San Diego, they must prove who is liable, and that is not a simple task.

A San Diego car accident attorney can provide advice on your case, help manage the parties involved, collect evidence to build your claim and work to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Statute of Limitations for San Diego Car Accidents

California’s statute of limitations for car accident claims is two years from the date of the incident. You cannot file a claim after two years pass. Any victim who does not act within the timeframe of the statute of limitations in their case will be unable to pursue compensation regardless of who is at fault or liable.

If you are a car accident victim in San Diego, contact a personal injury firm in San Diego for your free case evaluation.

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