Highway 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz has been a consistently dangerous stretch of road for decades. The “Safe on 17” commission of the late ‘90s led to a temporary decline in the number of car accidents, but over the last few years, crashes have once again been on the rise. For example, in 2019, Highway 17 was the site of 521 accidents from just January to the middle of March, an increase of 30 crashes from that same time period the year before. To help keep yourself safe, it is important to be aware of why accidents are so common on this road, and what you can do if you are injured in a crash.
Area law enforcement notes several factors that contribute to accidents on Highway 17. These include:
Heavy traffic: More than 60,000 vehicles travel Highway 17 each day, and the simple fact of this many drivers in close proximity to each other increases the risk of accidents.
Weather conditions: Rain and snow are fairly common occurrences on Highway 17, affecting both visibility and traction and requiring greater caution among drivers.
Speeding: A lack of respect for speed limits, as well as safe speeds for the weather conditions, makes accidents more likely and can result in serious injuries and fatalities.
Tailgating: Along with speeding, following another driver too closely is often dangerous, as it makes it more difficult for a driver to slow down in time to avoid a collision if a sudden stop is necessary.
Dangerous curves: Highway 17 features many sharp and sudden turns, including the Laurel Curve, the Valley Surprise, and the Big Moody Curve, where drivers can easily lose control, especially if they are speeding or road conditions are poor.
Wildlife: The area surrounding parts of Highway 17 is home to deer and mountain lions, and these animals can sometimes contribute to accidents if they enter the roadway.
With all of these dangers in mind, if you want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding an accident, you should take all reasonable precautions whenever you use Highway 17. This includes maintaining safe speeds and paying close attention to your surroundings.
If you are injured on Highway 17 because another driver fails to take the necessary safety precautions, you may have a case for compensation. You should contact Attorney John J. Garvey, III as soon as possible so we can help you gather evidence of the driver’s negligence and start preparing your claim. Call an experienced Santa Clara County personal injury lawyer today at 408-293-7777 to schedule a free consultation.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.