Even though the Bay Area is driving innovation and daily paving the way for new technology, it is still one of the most dangerous places in the country to drive around. To illustrate this, 24/7 Wall Street analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and Transportation Institutes across the country to find the worst cities to drive around. Seven out of the top ten metro areas were in Northern California and close to the Bay Area. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area came in tenth place, and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area came in first. Read the full report here.
Reasons for Excessive Car Accidents
When millions of people rush to work in gridlocked traffic and then drive home exhausted after a long day, car accidents are bound to happen. Add in post-work happy hours, scrolling social media, and unmaintained roads—it’s understandable that Northern Californian cities accounted for most of the top ten worst places to drive.
To divulge deeper into this issue, we found three of the main causes of car accidents in the Bay Area: rough roads, distracted driving, and reckless driving.
Bay Area roads are notorious for being steep, eroding, and easily cracking from earthquakes. The rough roads in our area can easily cause crashes among the best drivers. Likewise, negligence to properly place construction barriers and traffic control signage can drive up the rate of car accidents.
The Bay Area is a fast-moving and constantly evolving metropolis of future-focused people. The “always-on” work mentality means people take calls, answer emails, review documents, and attend meetings while driving. While this mindset helps Californians create some of the most outstanding achievements known in our modern world, it sadly leads to avoidable and devastating car accidents. According to the California State Transportation Agency, nearly 20% of all fatal car wrecks are due to one or more involved parties being distracted.
Ever heard of the “California rolling stop?” A rolling, but not complete, stop at a stop sign. Or driving the “California speed limit?” Going at least 10 miles over the speed limit. These phrases have become popular by the stereotype of reckless driving frequently seen on roads across California and especially in the Bay Area. Tragically, reckless driving and speeding contributed to 26% of traffic fatalities in 2019.
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