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San Diego County Car Accident Statistics

The McClellan Law Firm

Table of Contents

These are only a few of the questions answered by data in reports from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Below, we provide data from the most recent statistics released by the CHP, California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), and more to get a better look at car crashes throughout the San Diego area. If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious car accident in San Diego, we encourage you to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At The McClellan Law Firm, we help those affected by catastrophic injuries fight for fair compensation. We can help you fight for what you deserve.

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Frequency of San Diego Auto Accidents

The OTS reported 5,200+ individuals were killed or injured in 2013 San Diego car crashes. Of those:

San Diego County's Most Dangerous Drivers

From 2000-2009, men between the ages of 20 and 24 caused the largest number of fatal accidents in San Diego County (370). Men between the ages of 25 and 34 were accountable for the most injury-causing accidents (16,130). Overall, men caused significantly more fatal accidents than women (1,550 vs. 429).

Most Dangerous Time of Day to Drive

Rush hour is the most dangerous time of day to drive, per statistics from 2000 to 2009. Between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., there were more than 155 fatal collisions and 12,400+ nonfatal collisions. On the weekend, nights were more dangerous than days, on average. The most drunk driving accidents occurred on Sundays at 2:00 a.m., even though 3:00 to 5:00 a.m. was, on average, the safest time to be on the road.

Most Dangerous Months for Crashes

Between 2000 and 2009, the CHP reported that the most fatal collisions occurred in November.

The totals for fatal collisions by month (2000-2009):

  • January: 220
  • February: 228
  • March: 200
  • April: 189
  • May: 213
  • June: 186
  • July: 214
  • August: 243
  • September: 217
  • October: 235
  • November: 246
  • December: 204

By contrast, the month of October was the most dangerous for nonfatal injury collisions.

The totals for nonfatal injury collisions by month (2000-2009):

  • January: 12,164
  • February: 12,042
  • March: 12,773
  • April: 12,505
  • May: 12,520
  • June: 12,505
  • July: 12,948
  • August: 13,009
  • September: 12,798
  • October: 13,272
  • November: 12,880
  • December: 12,819

Most Dangerous Day of the Week

Weekends, in general, are the most dangerous days in regards to fatal car accidents in San Diego, with fatal collision numbers spiking on Saturdays and Sundays. The lowest numbers were on Wednesday.

The totals for fatal collision by day of week (2000-2009):

  • Monday: 293
  • Tuesday: 319
  • Wednesday: 284
  • Thursday: 315
  • Friday: 421
  • Saturday: 466
  • Sunday: 497

For nonfatal collisions, the opposite is true with the middle of the week seeing the highest rate of crashes.

The totals for nonfatal collision by day of week (2000-2009):

  • Monday: 20,994
  • Tuesday: 21,683
  • Wednesday: 21,749
  • Thursday: 21,479
  • Friday: 25,062
  • Saturday: 22,412
  • Sunday: 18,856

Most Common Collision Type

In San Diego from 2000 to 2009, the most individuals were injured or killed in rear-end accidents.

Total killed and injured by type of collision (2000-2009):

  • Head-On: 15,495
  • Sideswipe: 18,515
  • Rear-End: 76,858
  • Broadside: 59,046
  • Hit Object: 28,708
  • Overturned: 10,230
  • Auto / Pedestrian: 10,233
  • Other: 5,636
  • Not Stated: 1,616

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Speeding is a cause in the majority of car accidents in San Diego County. In 2009, speeding injured more than 5,782 people. The next most dangerous driving violation was improper turning (3,143 injury-causing accidents), followed by failing to yield the right of way (2,491 accidents). The number one cause of fatal accidents was drunk driving, which caused more than 61 deaths in San Diego County in 2009.

Common Violations in Truck Accidents

From 2005 to 2009, in truck collisions where the truck driver was at fault, the most accidents occurred involving a violation of unsafe speed (314). The second most involved violations of improper turning (131).

Truck collisions where truck driver was at fault by violation category (2005-2009):

  • DUI Alcohol / Drugs:19
  • Impeding Traffic: 2
  • Unsafe Speed: 314
  • Following Too Closely: 24
  • Wrong Side of Road:13
  • Improper Passing: 1
  • Unsafe Lane Change: 102
  • Improper Turning: 131
  • Auto Right-of-Way: 41
  • Pedestrian Right-of-Way: 4
  • Traffic Signals & Signs: 24
  • Hazardous Parking: 5
  • Brakes: 2
  • Other Equipment: 5
  • Other Hazardous Violation (Not 22):14
  • Unsafe Starting or Backing: 23
  • Other Improper Driving: 4
  • Not Stated: 5

Visit the San Diego County Motor Vehicle Crash Data Tables (2000-2009) by clicking here.

Car Wreck Deaths Up 13% in 2012

As reported by CNN, the first quarter of 2012 saw what could be characterized as an unusual increase in the number of fatal car wrecks on the nation's roadways. Among the cited factors is distracted driving, which has gained prominence, so to speak, as mobile technology has improved in recent years. Other possible factors playing a role in the 13.5% increase include the warmer winter (meaning that more people were out on the roads) and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In short, what the Automobile Association of America would like to see is a stronger "culture of safety" among drivers, who decide not to text while driving, get behind the wheel after drinking, or engage in other risky behavior like speeding. What makes this increase particularly troubling is we were at a 60-year low in traffic deaths across the nation, based on data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, until the first quarter of 2012. In other words, more than 7,600 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in the first quarter of 2012, or roughly 1,000 more than in first-quarter 2011, reversing what Barnett characterizes as a "downward trend" that had stretched back for years.