San Diego is currently experiencing its lowest rates of violent crime in approximately 40 years, despite some persistent vacancies in its police department. However, the rate of traffic deaths is on the rise in our city.
In fact, more people in San Diego are killed in car accidents each year than are murdered. According to information released by the San Diego Police Department, there were 260 traffic deaths between 2012 and 2016, compared to 206 murders within that same period. That traffic death figure only relates to the number of deaths on city streets — it does not include the people who die on freeways running through the city. That would likely increase the figure to be about twice the number of murders.
A national trend in traffic fatalities
It’s not just San Diego that is seeing increased numbers of traffic deaths — the entire country has seen a 6 percent increase in fatal crashes, including an 11 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in 2016 alone.
Experts point to a variety of factors leading to rising fatality rates: cheaper gas prices encouraging more people to get out on the road, increases in drugged driving and the proliferation of smartphones, resulting in more distracted drivers on roads and highways.
In 2015, San Diego instituted a “Vision Zero” campaign, much like other large cities in the nation, to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. The campaign calls for stricter enforcement of traffic laws, media campaigns to encourage safe driving and roadway use and some significant street re-engineering, the latter of which involves finding ways to slow traffic speeds in certain areas.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and you believe negligence was a factor, speak with a skilled San Diego personal injury attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire to learn more about your options.