When you first learned to drive, getting to an intersection likely seemed like a nightmare. Who had the right of way? When can you make a turn? Will the other drivers stop for you in time? While you may have grown out of this nervousness as you become more experienced on the road, the truth is that intersections, especially in a place as populated as Santa Barbara, are incredibly dangerous.
The Most Dangerous Intersection in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is a bustling city with over 90,000 people living directly in the city, and even more commuting every day for work. With all of that activity on the road, it is no wonder that our intersections can be dangerous. Knowing which intersections are the most dangerous, however, can help you keep yourself safe, whether you are driving to work, going home, or visiting one of Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches.
The five most dangerous intersections in Santa Barbara are:
- De La Guerra Street and Santa Barbara Street
- West Carrillo Street and Chapala Street
- Calle Real and Las Positas Road
- De La Vina and Figueroa Street
- US 101 and North Milpas Street
Each of these intersections made the list due to the sheer number of accidents, major and minor, that have happened there. Chances are that you know at least one or two on this list, as they are all highly trafficked areas. But the question still remains, what makes an intersection so dangerous?
The Dangers of Intersections
To put it bluntly, an intersection is dangerous because there are multiple directions of traffic. On a typical road, you will have one lane of traffic going a single direction and one lane of traffic going in the opposite direction. When two roads cross, however, you have now introduced a completely new direction. Drivers will be trying to make turns, stopping and starting their cars, and trying to figure out just who has the right of way. This kind of chaos can be stressful even on smaller intersections, but major ones, with more than four lanes, and maybe even more than two roads, can cause people to make mistakes. Some common reasons why intersection accidents happen are:
Lack of patience: All intersections either have stop signs or traffic lights. This controls traffic and ensures that people slow down and give the right of way. However, impatience is not uncommon among drivers. Some people don’t take their duty of care towards others seriously, and instead of stopping when they see a red light, speed up in an attempt to beat it. This kind of negligence can, and often does, lead to a serious accident.
Ignoring the right of way: In a similar vein to impatience, some drivers blatantly ignore the right of way in favor of turning before someone else or because they simply do not understand how the right of way works. In either case, it is a driver’s responsibility to follow the rules of the road to ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible.
Countless points of entry: Intersections are often highly trafficked areas. This means that local businesses will likely choose to set down a shop or storefront on an intersection in order to get as many customers as possible. The many parking lot entrances and exits, however, simply add to the confusion that often already accompanies intersections, making it very easy for drivers to collide with each other.
If you were involved in an intersection accident, chances are that you have been left with injuries. Filing a claim may be the last thing on your mind as you recover from your wounds and figure out how to pay your hospital bill. We at NordstrandBlack PC want to do the heavy lifting for you. If you or a loved one were injured in an intersection accident, whether you were a pedestrian, motorcycle operator, or bike rider, you need help from an experienced Santa Barbara auto accident attorney. Call our firm at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free initial consultation.