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Most Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in San Diego

San Diego County is known for its traffic congestion and slow commute times due to its location as a key transportation hub between Mexico and California. Its packed roadways are hazardous, and serious car accidents involving all types of cars may be seen on a regular basis throughout San Diego and the surrounding area. 

Thousands of individuals die in tragic accidents across the county each year, making driving a frightening and stressful experience. Statistics show over the years that the following are the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in San Diego:


Nobody likes being stuck in traffic. Unfortunately, San Diego traffic is frequently gridlocked. To make up for lost time, drivers disregard the speed limit and floor the gas pedal. Speeding is particularly hazardous on freeways, two-lane highways, and rural routes outside of the city. The frequency of speed-related accidents increased by 19% between 2017 and 2019.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is another significant cause of motor vehicle accidents in California. Impaired driving is:

  •    Drunk Driving: The number of fatal crashes caused by intoxicated drivers reached an all-time high in 2021.
  •    Drugged Driving: In San Diego, where drugged driving has become an issue, the California Office of Traffic Safety has awarded the city a grant to assist in getting drugged drivers off the roadways.


Distracted driving has become a major challenge, thanks in part to technological advancements. Almost every motorist has a smartphone or other device at their disposal, and it might be difficult for some to resist using them, especially in San Diego traffic. While it is unlawful to text, talk on the phone, or browse the web while driving, many people still do so, putting themselves and others in danger. 

Mobile phones aren’t the only source of distraction. They could be eating, drinking, conversing with a passenger, or even focusing too closely on the GPS or radio.

Fatigued Driving 

In San Diego, many accidents occur after dark. Drivers are more likely to be fatigued, which heightens the risk of a collision. The frequency of nighttime accidents in San Diego increased by 13% between 2018 and 2019.

Rear-End Collisions 

While many insurance providers regard rear-end collisions as a lesser mishap, even at modest speeds, rear-end collisions can result in serious neck and back injuries. Speeding, distracted driving, and tailgating are the three most common causes of rear-end collisions. Needless to say, any combination of these could be to blame, such as following too closely at high speeds while driving inattentively.

Red Light Accidents 

Red-light running is one of the most common causes of deadly car crashes. When a driver runs a red light and collides with an oncoming car, it is known as a red light accident. Because the unsuspecting driver will be concentrating on navigating through the intersection, a red light collision might easily catch them off guard and cause massive injury or death. 

Making an Improper Turn 

Improper turning can range from not using a turn signal to attempting to turn left into oncoming traffic without maintaining a safe distance. Improper turning can also be dangerous to pedestrians, who are more likely to be injured near intersections. One of the most frequent instances for pedestrians to sustain major injuries is by turning right into a cyclist or pedestrian at a crossing.

Stop Sign Collisions 

Stop sign collisions are similar to red light collisions in that they are typically caused by drivers who rush through the junction rather than stopping beforehand. This could be the result of reckless speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving, or simply a deliberate decision to break the law. 

Instead of running a stop sign, the motorist may rear-end the vehicle in front of him/her. This could happen if the driver is inattentive and fails to notice the stopped automobile and stop sign ahead of him or her while there is still time to brake or swerve out of the path.

Contact an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer

If you’ve been in a car accident in San Diego, contact an experienced car accident lawyer who knows how to determine the other driver’s fault and get you the compensation you deserve. 

To learn how Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers can assist you with your case, call (619) 550-1355 or send us an email. Your first consultation is always complimentary.


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