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Traffic Accidents (Partially) Explained? San Diego Commute Ranked Among Worst

by John Gomez | Last Updated: March 3, 2017
Traffic Accidents

According to census data, more than 80 percent of San Diego residents commute to work daily by way of a passenger vehicle.  That should make it easy to see why most people think that traffic in the area is generally terrible.  Not to mention, congested traffic conditions make driving conditions stressful and dangerous.  Just how bad is traffic in San Diego County?  According to a recent statistical analysis, San Diego is one of the worst cities in the United States and even one of the worst cities in the world when it comes to traffic congestion.  This is likely one of the main factors that contributes to San Diego car accidents.  There are many reasons that difficult traffic conditions impact the number of crashes that occur in a given location.  We will discuss a few of them below along with the results of the analysis.

About the Traffic Congestion Analysis

INRIX, a company that works to connect vehicles and data on a large scale, put together its annual ‘Scorecard’ for traffic congestion.  The INRIX 2016 Global Traffic Scorecard uses seven different variables to rank 1,064 cities around the world based on amount of time spent in congested traffic.  Those seven variables are:

  • Peak In/Out – The percentage of drive time spent in congestion on average during peak hours on roads into and out of a city.
  • Peak Within – The percentage of driving time spent in congestion on average during peak hours on roads within a city.
  • Day In/Out – The percentage of driving time spent in congestion on average at noon on roads into and out of a city.
  • Day Within – The percentage of driving time spent in congestion on average at noon on roads within a city.
  • Late In/Out – The percentage of drive time spent in congestion on average late at night on roads into and out of a city.
  • Late Within – The percentage of drive time spent in congestion on average late at night on roads within a city.
  • Weekend – The percentage of driving time spent in congestion on average on all roads during the weekend.

The Traffic Congestion Analysis – The Results

San Diego did not rank well within this analysis.  According to the data, San Diego has the 14th worst level of congestion in the United States.  It has the 16th worst traffic in North America and the 47th worst traffic in the entire world.  The 10 worst cities in the world, listed from worst to 10th worst, are as follows:

  1. Los Angeles, California
  2. Moscow, Russia
  3. New York, New York
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Bogota, Colombia
  6. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  7. London, England
  8. Magnitogorsk, Russia
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. Paris, France

The 10 worst cities for traffic congestion in the United States, listed from worst to 10th worst, include:

  1. Los Angeles, California
  2. New York, New York
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. Atlanta, Georgia
  5. Miami, Florida
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Dallas, Texas
  8. Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Chicago, Illinois
  10. Seattle, Washington

The other three cities that rank ahead of San Diego on the survey include Houston, Texas, Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas.  Those who would like to review the entire report can find it here.

How Congestion Contributes to Traffic Accidents

Congestion makes for a difficult environment for every motorist trapped in that environment.  There are several ways in which heavy traffic leads to circumstances where crashes are more likely.  Below are five examples of how this occurs:

  • Motorist Mindset – Everyone gets frustrated to some degree when they are stuck in traffic.  This frustration can lead to a lack of patience and ultimately to poor decisions by drivers.  Poor decisions in a crowded environment can quickly lead to chaos.
  • Less Room to Maneuver – When there are a lot of vehicles in a relatively small space, proper following distances are simply not available.  Every inch can make a difference between a collision and avoiding a crash.
  • Less Time to React – Less space between vehicles also leads to less time to make decisions that can help avoid accidents.  Just like every inch between vehicles is critically important in this setting, so is every fraction of a second.
  • Higher Probability for Mistakes – Simple math leads to the conclusion that when you have more people crowded together, the probability that someone will make a mistake rises.  All it takes is for one person to misjudge a distance or a speed and a crash can result.
  • Chain Reaction – When someone does make a mistake, it immediately puts a large number of vehicles and their occupants in danger.  That’s why it’s not uncommon for what would have otherwise been a two-vehicle collision to quickly spiral into a chain reaction crash that ensnares several vehicles and people.

How a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

When traffic accidents occur in a congested setting, the immediate aftermath of the incident can be quite confusing.  People may not be sure of what steps to take to make sure that they protect their rights.  Being surrounded by vehicles after a crash can add to the already-high level of stress that’s present, and that can lead to mistakes that can hinder someone’s ability to recover for the losses that he or she has incurred.

If you or someone you love has been harmed in a crash that occurs in the heavy traffic that arises daily across the county, do what you can to stay as calm as possible afterward.  Make sure that you file a report with the police and obtain a full medical evaluation even if your injuries do not seem serious at the time.  In addition, avoid engaging in a debate with the other party, and simply and politely exchange information if possible.  If a civil exchange is not possible, wait for the police officer to arrive to manage the scene before taking that step.  You should also seek the help of a San Diego car accident lawyer who understands how to piece together chaotic crash scenarios so that you give yourself a good chance to obtain a recovery.  Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.

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