Bakersfield Traffic Accidents: Where Do Collisions Happen?

Bakersfield Traffic Accidents: Where Do Collisions Happen The Most?

As one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Bakersfield is an important community south of Central Valley in California, serving as the county seat of Kern County, and boasting a healthy agricultural and energy producing industry. Bakersfield also holds a special strategic placement in the Central Valley, making it a significant transportation and logistics hub, linking Southern California with the rest of the state.

So, while this doesn’t create the same level of congestion a larger metropolitan area like Los Angeles or San Francisco has, it still faces its share of traffic challenges. Key arterial roads and highways, including Highway 99, which runs through the city, can experience severe congestion during rush hours, which makes it more likely to cause dangerous traffic incidents.

The city’s layout is predominantly car-centric, and a majority of residents rely on personal vehicles for transportation. This leads to increased traffic, and as Bakersfield and the surrounding area continue to grow, these issues will continue to affect its residents, with certain spots becoming notorious for how prone to auto accidents they have become. In this blog, we will discuss the following topics, so you can be prepared for any unfortunate event and receive the financial compensation you deserve. In particular, we will talk about:

  • Bakersfield traffic accident hotspots
  • What to do after a Bakersfield traffic accident?
  • Where to find legal help after an accident in Bakersfield
bakersfield traffic accidents

Bakersfield’s Traffic Accident Hotspots

As a city that keeps growing, Bakersfield traffic accidents are becoming more and more common, accumulating an average of 45 deaths a year since 2020, making it one of the most dangerous in California. This is due to a number of factors, but Bakersfield traffic reports indicate that the high number of intersections and highways inside the city are a main concern. This relationship is multifaceted, but we can start by reviewing some of the hotspots for these unfortunate incidents:

Highway 99

Highway 99, also known as State Route 99 (SR 99), is a major north-south state highway in California, running through the Central Valley. Bakersfield, the ninth-largest city in the state, is one of the significant cities that SR 99 passes through, which has historically held the reputation for being one of the more dangerous highways in the region. Various factors contribute to the accident rates on SR 99:

  • Volume and Congestion: SR 99 is a major transportation corridor, so it experiences high traffic volumes leading to congestion, especially during peak travel times. This in turn increases the risk of collisions, rear-end accidents, or more, which totaled 71 fatal crashes in 2019 alone.
  • Mixture of Traffic: Highway 99 sees a diverse range of vehicles, from passenger cars to large commercial trucks due to the fact that it crosses the entire city. The differing speeds and behaviors of these vehicles create challenging driving conditions that can lead to serious traffic incidents.
  • Visibility: The Central Valley, including the Bakersfield area, can experience dense fog at certain times of the year, notably the Tule fog. This can drastically reduce visibility and lead to multi-vehicle pile-ups if drivers aren’t cautious.
  • Infrastructure Concerns: Over the years in Bakersfield traffic reports, there have been concerns about the design of certain sections of SR 99, including issues like short on-ramps, lack of merge lanes, or outdated interchange designs. These can contribute to accidents, especially in areas with high traffic volumes.

Intersections

In Bakersfield, traffic accidents are particularly common due to the dense concentration of vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. This situation is further complicated by the complex interactions that intersections necessitate. Multiple traffic flows intersect at these junctions, involving vehicles traveling in different directions, sometimes with negligent drivers, and executing various turning maneuvers. 

This complexity generates conflict points where accidents often occur. In light of Bakersfield’s rapid growth, it’s evident why its intersections have become accident hotspots. Some of the most notorious are:

  • Ming Avenue and New Stine Road
  • Real Road and Wilson Road
  • 34th Street and Q Street
  • Brundage Lane and P Street
  • H Street and Planz Road
  • Baker Street and Niles Street
  • 4th Street and Union Avenue

Bakersfield Downtown

If you have seen a Bakersfield traffic accident, you might already know that the city’s downtown area is one of the most dangerous to drive each year. After all, it’s home to many important thoroughfares and has heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, with Union Avenue being the main hotspot of accidents and deaths. “It’s not a mystery why Union is so dangerous […] It has six travel lanes and the traffic lights are spaced far apart. A person might have to walk several minutes to the crosswalk and then walk that same distance back to arrive at their location.” – Bakersfield official website,

So, despite some efforts to improve pedestrian safety and decrease the amount of traffic that passes through the Bakersfield metropolitan area, this city is still ranked among the most dangerous in the US to drive, so having an idea of what to do if you get involved in a crash resulting in catastrophic injury is critical for any resident of this community.

What To Do After a Bakersfield Traffic Accident?

If you’re involved in a Bakersfield traffic accident, it’s crucial to act quickly, ensure your safety, and seek the necessary help to recover just compensation for any injury or economic loss you might suffer. Here are the general steps you should follow after a traffic accident in California:

1. Ensure Your Safety

Check yourself for injuries. If you are injured, try to remain calm and wait for medical attention. If it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safer spot. If not, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety.

2. Call the Authorities

Dial 911 if there are injuries or if the accident involves significant property damage. In Bakersfield, you might be assisted by the Bakersfield Police Department or the California Highway Patrol, depending on the location and nature of the accident.

3. Exchange Information

Share and collect information with other parties involved, paying special attention to names, addresses, and phone numbers, as well as all pertinent insurance information, driver’s license and license plate number, the type, color, and model of the vehicles involved. Do not admit fault or discuss the details of the accident with anyone except your attorney, particularly if you suspect a drunk driver was involved in the incident.

4. Document the Scene

For a possible accident lawsuit, make sure you take photos of the scene, vehicle damages, license plates, and any injuries. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and a brief statement if possible. Also, consider documenting the surrounding area to provide context or identify potential hazards. Note the time, date, and weather conditions, and lastly, if there are any nearby surveillance cameras, make a note of their locations as they might have captured the incident.

5. Report the Accident

In California, if the accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000, you must report the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days through an SR-1 form. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.

6. Seek Medical Attention

Even if you believe you’re uninjured, some internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, especially when it comes to traumatic brain injuries. It’s also a good idea to get a medical check-up to ensure there are no hidden or latent spinal cord injuries or similar that could make your condition worse.

7. Document Everything

Keep a record of all medical bills, treatments, repair estimates, and any other related expenses. Note down any conversations or communications you have related to the accident scene. It’s also wise to photograph any injuries, physical pain, or damage to property as visual evidence. Keep a daily diary detailing your physical and emotional state following the accident. Such documentation can be invaluable when discussing your case with attorneys or if the matter goes to court.

8. Consult an Attorney

If there are disputes regarding fault, injuries, the accident claims, or if you’re facing potential litigation, it may be beneficial to consult with a local attorney at Bakersfield who specializes in traffic accidents. For accident victims, it’s essential to remain calm and cooperative throughout the process.

By following these steps, crash victims can ensure that the insurance claim after the accident is handled appropriately and legally. Don’t let a motor vehicle accident change your life permanently, there’s always help you can seek.

Where To Find Legal Help After an Accident in Bakersfield?

Before initiating a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to select the right personal injury attorneys in Bakersfield to guide you through the complex claim procedure. At Ayuda California, we are dedicated to achieving results with accident lawsuits and providing our clients with the highest standard of legal service in Bakersfield. Whether it’s a fender bender or a severe injury from a significant collision, it’s vital to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. In California, personal injury laws permit victims to pursue claims for damages due to another’s negligent behavior. This includes compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, lost wages, anticipated future medical costs, and other financial losses, contingent on the nature of the injury and accident. Reach out to Ayuda California for a free case review, call us at (844) 865 0721. No fees unless we win!

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