Intersections located in Escondido, Chula Vista, and Hillcrest are among the most dangerous places for a pedestrian to cross the street in the San Diego area, according to a recent report from CBS 8 News. The report discusses a new study that “is shedding light on pedestrian safety across San Diego County” and identifying areas where pedestrian accidents occur most often. That study explored accident reports going back to 2011 involving pedestrian injuries and fatalities. There are numerous reasons that motor vehicle drivers at these intersections crash into pedestrians, from issues of blind spots to sheer distracted driving. In some cases, pedestrians have been struck in hit-and-run accidents.
Which intersections and other pedestrian areas of San Diego should you recognize in terms of safety risks?
Why do Pedestrian Accidents Happen at Particular Intersections?
There are a number of reasons, according to the study, that pedestrian accidents occur at particular intersections in the San Diego area. As we noted above, in some circumstances, there are blindspot issues at intersections that can prevent drivers from seeing a pedestrian crossing the street. More often than not, however, distracted driving is the most common cause of crashes involving pedestrians. The distractions do not always come from within the vehicle.
Some of the most dangerous intersections pose risks because of distractions around the intersection itself, causing drivers to take their eyes off the road. The second-most dangerous intersection, which results largely from distracted driving, is the intersection at Valley Parkway and Midway Drive in Escondido. A total of 13 crashes and two fatalities have been reported there. The most dangerous intersection in the area, however, is at University Avenue and First in Hillcrest. At this intersection, distractions largely are not the problem. The report cites the intersection’s “poorly maintained crosswalks as well as its dim lighting.”
Other intersections in San Diego pose risks to pedestrians due to the amount of traffic. In other words, the more motor vehicles that travel through an intersection, the higher the risk of a collision. For instance, the intersection at Ulric Street and Linda Vista Road sees around 28,000 vehicles per day.
Making Changes to Intersections to Promote Pedestrian Safety
Some of the problems at these intersections could be easily repaired, while others may require additional consideration. For intersections where dangers arise from poor maintenance and poor lighting, the city could invest in repairs to help ensure pedestrian safety. For those intersections where a significant amount of traffic poses risks to pedestrians, the city will need to think carefully about issues of infrastructure and design.
In the meantime, what steps can pedestrians take to avoid injuries? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends the following safety tips:
- Make yourself visible to motorists by wearing lightly colored clothing at night or brightly colored clothing during daylight hours;
- Avoid distracted walking and stay alert, which means avoiding texting while walking and the use of headphones;
- Obey traffic rules, including walk signs;
- Do not assume a driver will give you the right of way, even if you are entitled to the right of way;
- Try to make eye contact with drivers that are approaching before you cross the street;
- Use sidewalks whenever they are available;
- Do not walk along highways or other major roadways;
- Use crosswalks when they are available, and obey crosswalk signs; and
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
Contact an Escondido Car Accident Lawyer
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(image courtesy of Bethany Legg)