Driving is always a risk, but some intersections are riskier than others. Traffic accidents are a serious public safety issue everywhere, but statistics show that more accidents happen on certain roads and at certain intersections. You can’t prevent every traffic accident, but it helps to be forewarned of possible dangers by learning which intersections are the most dangerous.
Why Are There Dangerous Intersections in Santa Ana?
Santa Ana is a large and vibrant community, located in the middle of Orange County. It is the second most populous city in the county, and has a high population density. This means the area is crowded with cars and pedestrians. Constant use means wear and tear on the roads. Speeding, impaired or distracted driving and driver fatigue also contribute to the danger.
Santa Ana fatal car crashes and road traffic accidents list for 2017 shows 24 fatal accidents and twelve pedestrians involved in fatal accidents. Santa Ana is also California’s most dangerous large city for kids on foot or bike, according to California’s Office of Traffic Safety. Accidents often happen at intersections such as West First at Flower, and North Main Street at West Santa Ana Boulevard, in part because of the traffic congestion.
Santa Ana Accidents
Because of the sheer volume of vehicles and pedestrians, traffic congestion is a serious problem in Santa Ana. Intersections, or the point at which two or more roads meet, are particularly dangerous.
17th Street at Fairview Street, Santa Ana
Pedestrians, bicyclists and cars head to the shopping areas, apartment complexes and bus stops located around 17th Street at Fairview Street. The long stretches between lights and easy freeway access make the area a popular route for drivers. It is also the second most dangerous intersection. There have been five serious accidents, including one fatality and five hurt, some of them seriously. Two of the accidents were caused by running red lights, two by jay-walking and one by unsafe backing.
Bristol Street at McFadden Avenue, Santa Ana
This intersection, near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary school is crowded with students, parents, and shoppers. In one of four accidents, a vehicle fatally struck a pedestrian. Ten more people were injured, three of them seriously, in three other accidents.
Civic Center Drive at Lacy Street, Santa Ana
A fatal accident occurred in June 2017 when a vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Reports indicated that the driver failed to yield the right of way to the woman. Neighbors said that the intersection is “extremely dangerous” because drivers ignore the crosswalk and speed through the intersection.
Santa Ana Crosswalk Laws
Many intersection accidents involve pedestrians. In 2016, a pedestrian was killed every 1.5 hours in traffic crashes.
California Vehicle Code section 21950 requires the driver of a vehicle to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing in any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. The law further states that the driver approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall operate the vehicle with all due care, taking all possible steps to protect the safety of the pedestrian. The law also requires pedestrians to exercise due care for his or her safety.
What Makes an Intersection Dangerous?
There are many reasons why an intersection may be dangerous. In a busy intersection, there are pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles, traveling in several directions. They all must cross paths safely, obeying the traffic signals, stop or yield signs. Drivers may misjudge another car’s speed or distance, swerve or make an unsafe turn, or misinterpret what another driver in the intersection will do. The time during which a light changes from green to yellow is particularly risky. Drivers sometimes misjudge the timing needed to cross an intersection and then speed through a light. These errors are even more likely to occur when a driver is distracted, inattentive, or unable to stop in time.
Other factors which may contribute to an accident include:
- Obstructed signs
- Inadequate or misleading signs
- Defective or broken traffic signal lights
- Badly maintained roads
- Improperly marked lanes
- Missing road shoulders or sharp drop-offs
- Improper lane Width
- Poorly lit intersections (often a problem in rural areas)
- Sun glare or visibility problems
- Missing or inadequate median barrier
- Failure to comply with state or federal regulations
Intersection Accident Prevention in Santa Ana
The best way to prevent an accident is to drive defensively. Be cautious and vigilant. As you approach an intersection, check to see if traffic is stopped or slowing down. At red lights and stop signs, come to a complete stop. If you believe the light is about to turn, slow down. Avoid going through on a yellow light if you are able to stop safely. Check all blind spots before beginning a turn. Allow extra space and time to stop in wet or slippery conditions. Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Be aware of everyone at or approaching the intersection.
- Come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs and do not attempt to go through a yellow light when you have adequate time to slow down safely.
- When approaching an intersection, reduce your speed if the light is about to turn.
- Give yourself more space and time to stop in wet conditions.
- You should also check your blind spots before making a turn.
- Remember that other drivers may be fatigued, speeding, distracted, or impaired by alcohol or drugs. Drivers who are fatigued or driving under the influence tend to make poor decisions and fail to notice or respond to changes in traffic or road conditions.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
Were You in an Intersection Accident? Call Us!
Being in an accident is traumatizing. If you or a loved one has been involved in an intersection accident, it is important to understand your legal rights. If the other party is responsible for the accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. You need someone with the skills, resources, and compassion to evaluate your case. For more information, speak with the experienced Orange County personal injury attorneys at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn as soon as possible. For a free consultation, call (714) 434-1424, or contact us online today.