The ‘Fatal 15’: San Diego’s Most Dangerous Intersections

The streetcorner of Fifth Ave. and Market St. in the Gaslamp Quarter is a hub for tourists looking for eateries, bars and shops.

Fixing the Most Deadly Intersections in San Diego

Circulate San Diego, a pedestrian and bicycle safety group, is calling on the city to prioritize fixing San Diego’s most dangerous intersections, dubbed the ‘Fatal 15’. Members of the safety group suggested making small improvements that could make a huge impact in addressing safety concerns at these deadly intersections. Some of the proposals included:

  • Painting ladder or zebra stripes across the crosswalks for increased visibility
  • Installing countdown signal timers at intersections
  • Adding audio to the signal timers to let people know when it’s safe to cross

These fixes could cost the city of San Diego approximately $100,000 to upgrade each of these intersections to better protect pedestrians and cyclists. Therefore, it would cost about $1.5 million total to address the Fatal 15.

San Diego Has Included 8 Intersections in the City’s Revised Budget

In early May, Circulate San Diego sent Mayor Todd Gloria a letter requesting repairs to these intersections in the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Recently, the city approved fixes for 8 intersections in the revised budget. However, 7 weren’t included. The pedestrian and cyclist safety group has yet to hear back from the city regarding the remaining 7 intersections. Although, they sent another letter on May 22, urging the city to prioritize addressing these street crossings.

Many safety groups, including Circulate San Diego, San Diego County Bike Coalition, Bike San Diego, and Walk ‘n’ Roll San Diego, are working towards making the city safer for vulnerable road users.


What Are San Diego’s ‘Fatal 15’ Intersections?

According to Circulate San Diego, the intersections listed below are the Fatal 15. These findings are based on data gathered from the Transportation Injury Mapping System between 2018 and 2022.

During this period, each intersection in the Fatal 15 had more than 3 pedestrian or cyclist-involved crashes and the most cyclist and pedestrian deaths in the city.


San Diego Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Statistics

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) provided the following 2021 traffic injury and fatality statistics in San Diego County.

  • 18,159 people were killed and injured in traffic accidents
  • 1,071 pedestrians were killed and injured
  • 768 bicyclist injuries and fatalities
  • 1,608 total hit-and-run crashes
  • 3,786 speed-related fatal and injury crashes


We’re Almost 10 Years Into Vision Zero, but San Diego Streets Are Deadlier Than Ever

The Vision Zero plan was initially implemented in 2015 to address flaws in road design and make intersections safer. San Diego pledged to wipe out traffic fatalities by 2025, but the number of traffic deaths has increased substantially. In 2022, there were 69 traffic deaths on San Diego city streets, the highest number in the past 9 years.

In such a car-centric city, it remains in question if Vision Zero is actually making an impact on reducing traffic fatalities in San Diego. Some safety measures under consideration include creating roundabouts to slow traffic at intersections, installing flashing beacons at crosswalks, and implementing ‘no right-turn blank out signs’ that alert drivers when people are crossing the road.


Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in San Diego

car accident

Distracted Driving: Distracted driving occurs when drivers engage in non-driving activities that divert their attention from the road. These activities can include texting, eating or drinking, using the radio or GPS, and conversing with passengers.

Speeding: Speeding is a factor in 29% of all traffic crashes. Excessive speeds reduce the time drivers have to react and the space needed to slow down or stop.

Failure to Yield: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing the street at marked or unmarked crosswalks.

Ignoring Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey traffic signals and controls. When drivers run red lights or stop signs, they put themselves and other road users at great risk.

Driving Under the Influence: Drunk driving significantly impairs reaction time and judgment and can lead to a serious accident.

Poor Visibility: In low visibility conditions, such as nighttime or inclement weather, drivers may not see pedestrians crossing the street.

Jaywalking: Individuals crossing streets in areas without crosswalks can increase the risk of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians are not permitted to walk or run in the path of an oncoming vehicle to create an immediate hazard.


Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries

pedestrian injuries, person using crutches

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Psychological trauma


How Long Do I Have to File My Pedestrian Accident Claim?

According to California law, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is typically two years from the date of the accident. This means that victims must take legal action within this time frame, or they may risk losing their right to pursue compensation. 

However, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations, such as cases involving government entities, which have a shorter filing period (generally 6 months). It’s crucial to act promptly to ensure all evidence is preserved and witnesses are available.

Consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident can help ensure all legal deadlines are met. A San Diego pedestrian accident attorney will work to resolve your case in a timely manner.


Damages Available in a Personal Injury Claim

san diego pedestrian accident lawyers

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical therapy
  • Punitive damages
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Home care and modifications
  • Loss of enjoyment of life


Can I Settle Without a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

While you are not required to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer, it is not advisable to file a personal injury claim without consulting an experienced attorney. Insurance companies aim to minimize payouts and may offer settlements far lower than what the victim deserves.

An experienced attorney can determine the value of your pedestrian accident case and will negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf. 

Additionally, a San Diego pedestrian accident attorney can handle all legal complexities, gather evidence, and advocate for you in court if necessary. Without legal expertise, accident victims may not fully understand their rights and risk accepting low settlements. Pedestrian accident attorneys will protect your best interests and fight for the maximum compensation.


What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Did Not Have Insurance?

If the at-fault motorist in a pedestrian accident does not have insurance, it can complicate the process of obtaining compensation. However, pedestrian accident victims may still have options to recover financial compensation for their injuries and losses.

You may file a claim under your own Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This type of insurance is designed to cover damages when the at-fault party is uninsured or lacks adequate coverage. 

In California, this insurance coverage is included in your auto insurance policy unless you waive it in writing. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case and inform you of your legal options for pursuing fair compensation.


Contact an Experienced San Diego Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

san diego pedestrian accident attorney

If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to consult a San Diego personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can provide the legal advocacy you need to recover fair compensation. 

At Harbor Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping injured pedestrians obtain justice. Our team of pedestrian accident attorneys maintains a 99% success rate and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

We can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages. Call us to schedule a free case evaluation.