Where Do Car Accidents Most Occur in San Bernardino?
Car accidents can happen anywhere, including in San Bernardino. Some accident victims suffer devastating and costly injuries that lead to high-value injury claims against the negligent driver.
If you suffer injuries in a crash, discuss a possible case with a San Bernardino car accident lawyer today.
Injuries and fatalities in San Bernardino
Laws and road designs should promote safety, but thousands of people still suffer injuries annually on the road. San Bernardino County reported that 16,123 people suffered injuries or death in crashes in a recent year. This is a 6 percent increase from the previous year and 35 percent higher than a decade ago.
What makes a road dangerous?
The National Highway Traffic Administration conducts studies on dangerous roads and found conclusions on what factors can make a road dangerous.
Some factors include:
- Lack of road signage: Signs and signals can inform drivers what is coming on the road. Lack of signs can cause drivers to miss turns, lower speed limits, or obstacles ahead. A lack of signage can result in serious crashes.
- Sharp turns: Drivers must slow down and be cautious when approaching a sharp turn. When they do not, they might cross a center line or even roll their vehicles. Sharp turns also present limited visibility of oncoming traffic.
- Poorly painted lines: Road lines guide traffic so drivers can stay in their lanes. Missing or faded lines can cause drivers to miscalculate their lanes. This can make the road dangerous and lead to crashes.
- Missing guardrails: These devices prevent vehicles from going over the side of the road. When an accident happens, a guardrail can save a life. However, without guardrails, cars can fall off the road into ditches and other terrain.
- Excessive traffic and high speeds: On the highway, drivers have little room for error. Traffic is moving quickly and drivers are constantly changing lanes. Simple mistakes can lead to tragedy when there is heavy traffic, and people are driving at excessive speeds.
- Narrow roads: Narrow lanes can pose challenges for drivers, especially without divider medians. Often, drivers can cross over into an adjacent lane and hit another car.
- Poor lighting: Drivers often have difficulty seeing when there is inadequate lighting. Cars have headlights, but that may not be enough on some darker streets. Roads without proper lighting can present serious crash risks.
- Pedestrian and cyclist traffic: Motorists can often cause accidents with pedestrians or cyclists on the road. Many drivers are looking for other vehicles but fail to look for pedestrians or bicycles. They might refuse to share the road or follow right-of-way rules, leading to catastrophic injuries.
- Commercial truck traffic: Another significant challenge for drivers is commercial trucks. Sometimes, truckers are in a rush, causing them to drive recklessly. Big rigs are also more challenging to maneuver, and roads with heavy truck traffic can be dangerous.
Unfortunately, many San Bernardino roads have many of these hazards, leading to car accidents in the area.
The official name of Route 138 is Pearblossom Highway, also known as Blood Alley or the Highway of Death. It runs 65 miles between Palmdale and Crestlinepass through San Bernardino and Los Angeles. This dangerous highway’s many twists and turns resulted in 875 injuries and 56 deaths over five years.
The fifth-most dangerous highway in the country is right here due to traffic congestion and poor road conditions. Drivers typically merge onto the highway at high speeds, leading to collisions with slow or stopped traffic.
This highway links major counties like Riverside, San Diego, and San Bernardino. Since it connects to so many locations, heavy traffic travels on it. Reports also indicate that drivers on I-15 are more often distracted or intoxicated than on many other interstates.
Specifically, the section of I-405 between Barstow and Needles has seen more than 300 fatal crashes in one reporting year.
This interstate runs all the way from California to North Carolina, with many miles in San Bernardino County. It is often called the Needles Freeway and one of the most dangerous highways in the country.
While these are some of the most dangerous roads, a car accident can happen on any San Bernardino road. Speak to a San Bernardino car accident lawyer if you suffered injuries in a collision, as you likely have important legal rights.
San Bernardino traffic
Traffic is a major contributing factor to collisions, and California is one of the worst states in the nation for traffic. San Bernardino has heavy traffic and is the fifth-worst for traffic statewide. Traffic can contribute to more collisions, as many drivers might be distracted or impatient, leading to aggression.
Heavy traffic can result from poor road infrastructure, driver habits, population size, and other factors. Drivers in San Bernardino can have long commutes to and from work, and many drivers are in a hurry. They can make errors and crash into other vehicles, causing injuries. When an accident happens, it can make traffic much worse, sometimes leading to additional collisions.
Some areas that have a particularly serious traffic problem are:
- West Baseline Street and Medical Center Drive
- West 5th Street
- West Rialto Avenue
- Central Avenue
- San Bernardino Freeway
If you are driving on one of these roads or anywhere else in San Bernardino, you can encounter significant traffic and possibly suffer injuries in an accident.
While you might remain patient and drive safely even when in a rush, other drivers might not. Aggressive drivers might tailgate, pass improperly, speed, or even weave through traffic lanes. Even if you follow all traffic laws, a crash can change your life.
Common causes of car accidents
Car accidents happen for many different reasons, and many are preventable.
Some of the top reasons that crashes happen in San Bernardino include:
- Speeding: Excessive speeds can lengthen the time a person needs to stop. It can also lead to a driver losing control and increase accident severity.
- Reckless driving: When a driver is highly irresponsible while operating a motor vehicle, they can be deemed reckless. Reckless driving takes traffic violations to the next level, and often involves excessive speeding, racing, weaving, failure to yield, and following too closely.
- Running a stop sign or red light: Some drivers consciously decide to disobey traffic lights and signs. Others might be distracted and fail to notice a red light, often causing broadside accidents.
- Distracted driving: Eating, texting, talking on the phone, and other conduct can take a person’s eyes and focus off the road, which can increase the risk of an accident. Distracted driving is a serious safety issue in California.
- Drowsy driving: Fatigue can have similar effects as drugs or alcohol on the human body. Drivers can experience slower reaction times and reduced concentration. Some drivers might even fall asleep behind the wheel, often leading to devastating accidents.
- Impaired driving: Consumption of drugs or alcohol can impair a person’s reaction time, judgment, and more. NHTSA reports that 32 people die daily nationwide from drunk driving collisions.
- Vehicle defects: Inadequate maintenance or manufacturing defects can cause severe accidents on San Bernardino roads.
- Weather: Anything from rain, hail, or extreme sunlight can make driving more challenging. Drivers must adjust their conduct for inclement weather, lower visibility, slippery roads, and other hazards. When they do not, they can crash into other cars.
- Road conditions: Uneven surfaces, potholes, and other hazards can lead to accidents. Drivers should be aware of these hazards and adjust their driving accordingly. Sometimes, the person who created or or failed to correct the hazard can also be liable.
- Street racing: Unfortunately, there is a trend of street racing in San Bernardino, and street racers often also consume alcohol before driving. Resulting collisions lead to severe injuries and death for innocent victims.
You must seek justice if you suffer injuries from a negligent driver in San Bernardino. Additionally, if a loved one has died from driver negligence, the surviving family can seek compensation for their loss. Speak to a San Bernardino car accident lawyer about your options today.
Injuries that can result
You can suffer injuries and losses regardless of how or where a collision happens.
Some common injuries include:
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chronic whiplash symptoms
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
You may feel symptoms immediately and have apparent injuries requiring emergency medical attention. Other times, your injury symptoms can appear days or weeks later. Regardless of when your symptoms occur, you must get medical attention immediately.
Determining fault in car accidents
You must determine who was at fault for your accident to seek compensation from the proper party. The best way to determine fault is by thoroughly investigating the circumstances that led to the collision. Your car accident attorney can handle this investigation and identify the at-fault parties.
Often, a police officer will assign fault in their report. The insurance company might also investigate to make its own fault determination. Keep in mind the insurance company is seeking ways to avoid liability, so it might deny the policyholder was to blame or, even worse, blame you. You need a legal advocate to gather evidence to support your claims of liability.
Always consult a San Bernardino car accident lawyer who can start a thorough investigation.
The insurance process
The insurance claims process can be tedious. The insurer is fighting to lower your settlement, and they might take advantage of your vulnerability following a serious injury.
Refrain from negotiating with the adjuster on your own. You might say something that can accidentally hurt your case, or an adjuster might convince you to accept a lowball offer. Let a San Bernardino car accident lawyer handle the car accident claims process and speak to all relevant parties on your behalf.
The most important aspect of the claims process is negotiations. Your attorney will accurately calculate your losses and gather evidence to prove them. When the insurer tries to reduce your claim value, they will have proof and documentation that supports the compensation you deserve.
Once an insurer makes a fair offer, you can accept it and move forward with your life. If they do not offer what you deserve, your attorney can file a lawsuit to seek the full value of your claim.
Your case value
When filing an insurance claim, you must have an accurate evaluation of your losses.
Some of the damages you can seek and potentially recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Medical and rehab costs
- Property damages
- Current and future medical costs
- Lower earning capacity
Sometimes, car accident victims lose their lives. They can sustain fatal injuries, leaving their families reeling. Grieving families are left wondering how to pick up the pieces. They can also be facing financial burdens.
Surviving family members can file wrongful death actions to compensate them for damages, such as:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical debts related to the collision
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance
- Lost income and benefits
A car accident lawyer can handle these claims and seek justice for you or your loved one. Always work with a lawyer familiar with the laws that apply to your case.
Speak to a San Bernardino Car Accident Lawyer Immediately
Car accidents are a fact of life in San Bernardino, and many people suffer severe injuries and losses.
Enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino if you sustained injuries in a crash. Call for an initial consultation immediately.