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Santa Clara County




Santa Clara County is known as the home of Silicon Valley. Tech giants, venture capital firms, and business startups make Santa Clara County a global economic center. Abundant business enterprises are good for the economy but bad for traffic.

In addition to business commuters, students at Stanford, San Jose State, and Santa Clara University either drive or ride bicycles to school. Parents take their children to Raging Waters, Gilroy Gardens, and the Children's Discovery Museum, while adults enjoy concerts or hockey games at the SAP Center. With so much to do and an ever-growing population, it isn't surprising that traffic congestion in Santa Clara County has hit an all-time high.

Urban traffic snarls create urban traffic accidents. Bicyclists, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and occupants of passenger cars are all at risk on Santa Clara County roads and highways. When collisions occur, traffic accident lawyer Michael Rehm is here to help. Attorney Rehm represents car accident victims in all Santa Clara County communities, including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Milpitas.

Santa Clara County Accidents

In the most recent year for which statistics are available, nearly 10,000 accident victims were killed or injured in Santa Clara County. While that number is large, so is Santa Clara County's population.

When compared to other counties of similar size and miles driven per resident, Santa Clara County's traffic accident statistics are not unusual. One statistic, however, is alarming. California's Office of Traffic Safety ranked Santa Clara County as having the worst accident rate involving injuries or fatalities to bicycle riders under the age of 15. At The Law Office of Michael Rehm we urge all drivers to slow down and be particularly watchful in school zones, residential neighborhoods, and other areas where children are likely to be riding their bicycles.

Dangerous Roads in Santa Clara County

Most collisions in Santa Clara County occur on urban streets, but some of the deadliest accidents take place on highways. For many years, Highway 17 has been one of the most dangerous roads in California. Big Moody Curve in Santa Clara County has gained a reputation as one of the most hazardous stretches of Highway 17. The San Jose Mercury News reports that crashes on Highway 17 have been skyrocketing in recent years. Drivers who speed on a wet and winding road that has blind curves and narrow shoulders account for a majority of the accidents. Collisions often produce deadly rollovers.

Other Santa Clara County Roads that are consistently identified as dangerous include:

  • Page Mill Road from Palo Alto to Skyline
  • Alpine Road
  • Mount Hamilton Road
  • Pacheco Pass (State Route 152)

Like Highway 17, the roads are dangerous because of hairpin turns, blind driveways, and limited ability to pass other drivers safely. Impatient drivers who speed or pass on a hill or curve are responsible for many of the accidents on Santa Clara County's most dangerous roads. They are also liable for injuries or deaths that result from their careless driving.

Head-On Collisions in Santa Clara County

Drivers who pass on a curve or hill, as well as drivers who stray from their traffic lane because they are sleepy or drunk, account for most head-on collisions. Fortunately, head-on collisions account for a small percentage of Santa Clara County traffic accidents, but when they occur, they typically have catastrophic results.

While crumple zones and air bags help save lives in head-on collisions, the forces generated by two vehicles striking each other head-on at highway speeds will almost always cause serious injuries, even if the drivers survive. The head-on collision injuries that are commonly encounter include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Amputations
  • Crush injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Burn injuries

Catastrophic injuries are life changing. Paralysis, brain damage, loss of limbs, blindness, and other catastrophic injuries deprive accident victims of the ability to return to their former employment. They often make it difficult or impossible to live independently.

Intersection Accidents in Santa Clara County

Intersection accidents occur when a negligent driver fails to yield to a vehicle that has the right of way. The negligent driver might run a red light, make a turn without looking for oncoming traffic, or ignore rules that govern right of way in uncontrolled intersections. Most motorcycle accidents occur in intersections when a driver makes a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcyclist.

Intersection accidents are usually T-bone collisions. Injuries range from mild to severe. Since many vehicles have no side airbags, some high-speed T-bone collisions are fatal. Nonfatal injuries can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Facial scarring
  • Broken teeth
  • Knee, elbow and other joint injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Puncture wounds and cuts
  • Nerve damage
  • Torn or stretched muscles, ligaments, and tendons

Negligent drivers can be held accountable for those injuries, as well as infections and other complications that occur while the injury is being treated.

Rear-End Collisions in Santa Clara County

Rear-end collisions are the most common traffic accident in Santa Clara County. They are usually caused by distracted driving. When drivers read a text or dial a cellphone, they aren't watching the road and are not prepared to stop when the cars they are following come to a halt.

Rear-end collisions typically produce whiplash injuries. A whiplash occurs when a car occupant's head moves backward and forward rapidly after the car is rear-ended. Shear forces also twist the spine, producing a combination of injuries that affect the neck and back.

Studies show that whiplash injuries can occur in crashes of 10 mph or less. The onset of symptoms is usually delayed by 12 to 48 hours, and sometimes longer. Accident victims may need months of rest and physical therapy to recover from a whiplash. In some cases, pain and a reduced range of motion in the neck is a long-term or permanent consequence of a rear-end collision.

Santa Clara Accident Compensation

Head-on collisions are not the only accidents that cause catastrophic injuries. Other traffic accidents can have devastating results, including:

  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Collisions with large trucks
  • Rollover accidents
  • High-speed T-bone collisions

Compensation for catastrophic injuries often includes:

  • The expense of future surgeries and a lifetime of healthcare
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Caretaker or assisted-living facility expenses
  • Remodeling expenses to accommodate a wheelchair
  • Wheelchair-accessible vehicles

When a collision is fatal, spouses and children are among the family members who are entitled to wrongful death compensation. Money cannot replace lost love, but it can replace the income and services that the deceased family member would have provided to family members. Compensation also assures a measure of justice by recognizing the value of the companionship and guidance that the accident victim would have provided.

Compensation for less serious injuries typically includes:

  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity if the injury is disabling
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • The expense of coping with a disabling injury

Victims of all traffic accident injuries, regardless of severity, should receive compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. A personal injury lawyer can help accident victims place a value on pain and suffering based on verdicts that Santa Clara County juries have awarded for similar injuries.


The Law Office of Michael Rehm helps victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. Michael Rehm deals with insurance adjusters to maximize settlements so that accident victims can concentrate on healing. To learn how we can help you, call Michael Rehm at (408) 489-2007 for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.

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