VENTURA, Calif. – The number of traffic collisions on Ventura County roads has dropped by almost 40 percent in a decade, the Ventura County Public Works Agency announced recently. The trend toward fewer accidents has mostly been downward since the County started a coordinated effort to analyze and respond to traffic-collision patterns 10 years ago.
According to data collected by the VCPWA Transportation Department, the number of collisions on unincorporated County roads has decreased more than 39 percent since 2006. The data also identifies the intersections and stretches of roadway with significant collisions. Using this information, VCPWA developed a number of corrective actions to reduce collisions in high-impact areas.
The data showed that:
- With the exception of the years 2012-2014, the number of collisions on County roads has steadily been declining from a high of 950 to a historic low last year of 577.
- The top three reasons for collisions were: improper turning, driving at unsafe speed (which can include low-speed rear-end collisions), and driving under the influence.
- The roads with the most collisions included Potrero Road between Port Hueneme and Thousand Oaks, Rose Avenue from State Route 118 to Simon Way, and Rice Avenue from East Fifth Street to Channel Islands Boulevard.
- The intersections with the most collisions are Central and Santa Clara Avenues, Los Posas and Hueneme Roads, and Harbor Boulevard and Gonzales Road.
“The data we have collected over the past decade has been extraordinarily helpful in finding solutions to traffic collisions,” said Jeff Pratt, VCPWA Director. “By indicating overall collisions and pinpointing problem areas, we have been able to construct specific ways to slow down or divert traffic, and make driving and walking in Ventura County safer.”
The County has addressed the roadways with the highest accident rates with a number of improvements, such as adding traffic signs and lane striping, signal installation, and road widening. Many of these changes, like creating a left-turn lane at the intersection of Central and Santa Clara Avenues, reduced rear-end collisions by 40 percent in just six months.
The data comes from an annual traffic safety analysis. The VCPWA Transportation Department uses data from the local California Highway Patrol offices and the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System to develop a profile of collisions in the County.
“Thanks to a more sophisticated analysis of traffic, we’ve been able to identify a number of effective corrective treatments at high-impact intersections and road segments,” said Richard Herrera, VCPWA Traffic Engineer. “As we move forward, we will be able to get even greater insight into traffic patterns and accidents as the County changes.”