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Highway 17 report reveals dangerous driving trends

Traffic accidents on Highway 17 reach...

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - UPDATE: 9/13/17 7:00PM

The Highway 17 report for 2016 in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties has been released, and the findings reveal dangerous driving trends.

The Safe On 17 Task Force that was developed in 1999 has been working to reduce and prevent accidents along the 7.1 mile stretch of road. The newest report shows over the last three years, fatal and injury accidents have increased substantially. In 2016 the number of injury accidents was the highest it has been since the start of the task force. 

In 2016, there were 2 fatal collisions, 266 injury collisions and 989 collisions total. Speeding, tailgating and unsafe lane changes are the most frequent reasons behind he collisions, with distracted driving making its way up the list.

The wet weather in 2016 also played a role in the rise of accidents. Injury collisions were highest in the wet weather months of March, October and December. 

In response to the increased collisions on Highway 17, CHP, Caltrans and RTC are working together to fix problem areas and roadway issues. This includes repaving projects, widening shoulder areas, adding guard rails, storm water mitigation, access management plans and merge lane extensions. These agencies are also increasing efforts to inform and educate the public on driving safely on Highway 17. Cruz511 traveler information, changeable message signs and social media will be used to get the message out about the dangers of speeding, distracted driving and other potential driving hazards.  

 

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The Highway 17 report for 2016 in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties has been released, and the findings reveal dangerous driving trends.

There have been an increase in collisions on the Highway over the last few years, thanks to a combination of factors. 

While speeding, tailgating and unsafe lane changes are the most frequent reasons behind collisions, distracted driving is making its way up the list.

Officials are seeing phone usage on the road more than they should be.

KION's Ashley Keehn will have more on proposed plans moving forward.

 


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