Which Traffic Violations Cause the Most Automobile Crashes and Injuries?

Photo of a Police Officer Writing a Traffic Violation Ticket

Traffic laws exist for a reason—to help prevent auto accidents. However, many people choose to ignore these laws. Such actions can lead to crashes that cause catastrophic injuries and deaths. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 37,133 people lost their lives in auto accidents in 2017. In 2018, San Diego County had 260 fatalities and 20,023 injuries due to such accidents (SWITRS). However, which traffic violations led to most of these injuries and deaths?

The San Diego personal injury attorneys at the Traffic Accident Law Center combed through recent statistics to answer this question. Here are the top traffic violations that cause serious crashes in San Diego County.

Driving While Under the Influence

Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle and can slow reaction times. This is a well-known fact. Yet, so many people still drive while intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that almost 30 people lose their lives to drunk driving every day. This is why driving under the influence is one of the most destructive traffic violations in the country. In San Diego County, it is the fourth most destructive cause of traffic accidents.

Out of the 2,404 alcohol or drug-related collisions in San Diego County, 45 people lost their lives in 2018. These crashes led to 1,421 injuries, including 194 severe injuries. Drunk driving crashes can be serious and deadly. The reckless drivers who cause these crashes not only face consequences mandated by law, they must also compensate victims for their damages.

Failure to Yield the Right of Way

According to the mandates of the California Vehicle Code, it is the driver’s duty in California to yield the right of way to other vehicles. Situations that lead to yielding include when another vehicle has already entered an intersection, and when you approach an intersection at the same time as another vehicle and you are on the left. In addition, you must yield when you are making a legal U-turn. These situations and many others require drivers to let the other vehicle pass before they go, but when drivers ignore these laws, serious crashes can result.

Last year, 2,405 San Diego County crashes resulted from automobiles failing to yield the right of way. Although failure to yield was the third-highest cause of traffic injuries in our county, they only resulted in eight deaths.

Improper Turning

Whether it’s making a U-turn, turning right on red or making a left-hand turn where it’s prohibited—improper turning is the second-most dangerous traffic violation in San Diego County. Out of 5,700 improper turning collisions, 3,337 people suffered injuries and 50 individuals lost their lives. Stay vigilant at intersections or near driveways, especially if you are riding a motorcycle. If a driver neglects California’s turning laws, caution may be your best defense against injury.

Driving Too Fast

We all know what it’s like to be behind schedule. However, trying to reclaim lost time on the road is never the best solution. The faster your vehicle goes, the more likely you are to lose control. Speed also amplifies the damage caused in crashes. Speeding not only increases your chance of crashing, it also increases the damage caused by such a crash. Weather conditions can multiply these problems as well, so safety officials recommend slowing down during hazardous road conditions, even if that means going slower than the speed limit.

According to recent statistics from SWITRS, speeding caused 9,805 collisions in San Diego County during 2018. Those crashes led to 6,759 injuries and 36 fatalities. This makes speeding the primary traffic violation responsible for traffic injuries and deaths in San Diego County.

Our San Diego Traffic Violation Lawyer Is Here to Help Victims

When accidents like this hurt your family, it is important to seek out dependable legal representation. At the Traffic Accident Law Center, we help injury victims recover compensation for their injuries. This work helps them pay medical bills, repair the damages they’ve suffered and rebuild their lives. San Diego traffic accident attorney Daniel Tamez leads our team with experience and care to help bring lawsuits to a positive conclusion. To learn more about our law firm, please call (619)882-1111 or fill out our online contact form.