Can Caltrans prevent this common cause of Highway 17 crashes?

It was around 9:00 pm on June 20th, when a vehicle plunged off an embankment near Los Gatos. The car fell an estimated 50 feet until it came to rest in a tree. The authorities in Santa Clara were notified, but conditions made the rescue difficult. This is just one of the many driving safety concerns when you are driving on or near Highway 17.

Why Is the California Highway 17 Area So Dangerous?

When a man’s vehicle plunged down an embankment near Aldercroft Heights Road and Locust Drive, authorities faced a huge challenge. The nearly vertical slope made it difficult to get the equipment they needed to the man who was trapped. Rescuers and their gear had to be lowered down the slope before firefighters could engage the “jaws of life”.

The operation took over two hours to complete, but the victim was rescued and sent to the hospital with minor injuries. Unfortunately for Santa Clara County rescue teams, this type of accident happens often in this area. Highway 17, one of the most dangerous roads in the state, is only a few miles away from this crash. Considering recent trends on that road, these rescues could become more frequent.

Though there have been several successful safety campaigns on Highway 17 in the past decade, crash numbers have recently climbed. In 2016, there were 983 crashes, and in 2017, 800 collisions were reported. Since 1996, the road has seen an average of 420 to 500 crashes each year. Locals and authorities are noticing the uptick as more and more crashes are observed on both sides of the highway. Authorities believe weather conditions combined with reckless driving and speeding are contributing to this surge.

For now, state officials are combatting this trend with state-of-the-art upgrades to the highway. However, these solutions could take years to establish, which could put 63,000 daily commuters at risk. This means it is important for the victims of accidents on this road to protect themselves. Contacting an attorney with experience dealing with the dangers of Highway 17 may be one of the best solutions.