Will New Traffic Sensors in Sacramento Actually Save Lives?

by Staff | April 18th, 2022

Like any city, Sacramento has roads that are more treacherous than others. A one-mile stretch of El Camino Avenue saw 143 crashes over a seven-year period.

This is part of the reason why the Sacramento Department of Transportation is installing dilemma zone detection sensors. These sensors help drivers make safer driving decisions when approaching an intersection to help reduce accidents that cause severe injuries and deaths.

Other cities in the U.S. have experimented with smart traffic control sensors with positive results, so they will likely also reduce fatal crashes in Sacramento. These sensors are a step toward achieving Sacramento’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2027. Unfortunately, these sensors do little to address drivers who neglect their responsibility to drive with care for others.

When motorists drive negligently and cause serious accidents, they are liable for the damages they cause. If you have sustained an injury or a loved one has been killed in an automobile crash, contact our Sacramento car accident lawyers. You do not have to suffer financially because of someone else’s dangerous and irresponsible driving.

What Makes Sacramento’s Roads Dangerous?

While any road can be made dangerous by an irresponsible driver, speed is a major cause of accidents. The most dangerous roads have higher speed limits or encourage drivers to speed. Along with speeding, left and right turns in an intersection contribute to accident risk. Sacramento’s most dangerous roads combine these factors.

79% of serious crashes occur on only 14% of Sacramento’s roads. The highest number of serious and fatal accidents in Sacramento occur in the following corridors:

  • El Camino Ave between Del Paso Blvd and Steelhead Creek
  • Marysville Blvd between North Ave to Arcade Blvd
  • Florin Rd from 24th Street to Munson Way
  • South Stockton Blvd between Patterson Way and McMahon Drive
  • The section of Broadway and Stockton Blvd between MLK Jr. Blvd to 13th Ave

Speeds that result in pedestrian fatalities are considered dangerously high speeds. Pedestrians die 5% of the time when struck by a car going 20 miles per hour. That increases to 40% for vehicles at 30 mph. Cars traveling at 50 mph are 100% likely to cause a fatal accident if they strike a pedestrian. This shows that going above the speed limit and roads with a higher speed limit are a considerable danger to pedestrians.

The danger of high speeds combined with the fact that 78% of collisions occur in intersections is why Sacramento is opting for dilemma zone detection sensors and other intersection-related crash countermeasures.

How Sensors and Countermeasures May Help

The sensors attempt to reduce crashes by evaluating how fast cars are approaching an intersection. The sensors then decide how long to keep the traffic light in its yellow phase. When a traffic light is yellow, cars a certain distance from it are in the dilemma zone where drivers are unsure whether to stop or speed through the light. The sensors quickly turn the light from yellow to red to help drivers make a safe decision.

These sensors are shown to be most effective when 40% or less of the cars entering the intersection are turning. It is also most effective when trucks frequent an intersection, and the approaching speed limit is 45 mph or above. Some Sacramento roads will likely be safer because of the sensors, but other safety measures are necessary to achieve zero fatalities.

Other safety measures that Sacramento is considering include narrowing roads to reduce vehicle speed, pedestrian crossing only traffic signals, and speed limit reductions.

When Are Drivers Liable for Accidents?

The unfortunate fact is that all the safety measures in the world will not make an irresponsible driver safe. Drivers are responsible for exercising care for other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

That means they need to follow the laws of the road and drive as a reasonable person would, considering the road’s circumstances. When a driver fails to do this and causes an accident, they are deemed negligent.

Negligent drivers are liable for the costs associated with injuries, deaths, and other physical damages resulting from accidents. That means if you or a loved one was in an accident with a negligent driver and have medical bills, funeral costs, or need a new car, then the negligent driver may have to cover those costs.

If you think negligence was involved in your accident, contact an auto accident lawyer at our law firm. They work with you to get the financial compensation you deserve from insurance companies and the negligent driver.

What to do if You Are in an Accident

If you are the victim of someone else’s irresponsible driving, contact Berg Injury Lawyers. We will guide you through this uncertain time by collecting all the essential documentation to negotiate with insurance companies for the fair compensation you’re due.

Our experienced legal team can help you fight to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and the pain and suffering caused by your accident. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to learn more about how we can help you in a free consultation.