Earlier this month, we wrote about State Routes 76 and 78 – two notorious highways in San Diego County known for their arguably dangerous features. We cautioned and continue to caution San Diegans to drive as safely as possible when traveling the 76 and the 78, especially this holiday season when drinking and driving unfortunately tends to increase. These roads are especially dangerous because of their speeds, bendy corners and lack of guardrails.
The advice follows on the heels of yet another car accident that occurred earlier this month on State Route 76 near Bonsall. The head-on crash was severe, leaving two drivers with major personal injury according to reports. The highway was closed for more than an hour as investigators and medical crew were called on scene.
One driver, a 64-year-old male driver, was extricated from his vehicle according to the San Diego UT. He was airlifted to an unnamed hospital for medical treatment. Reports indicate he sustained two broken legs and various other injuries. The other driver, a woman, was also injured with reported facial fractures due to the head-on collision.
Officials say the woman must have veered into oncoming traffic for unknown reasons. Alcohol was not believed to have been a factor in this crash.
KEEP SAFE ON THE 76 AND THE 78
Now that the holidays are upon us, the traffic in the following weeks will inevitably increase. If you’re one of the many drivers using State Routes 76 and 78, please be extremely alert as you peruse these roadways. And if you’ve never driven these roads before, here are a few words of caution:
About State Route 76
The 76 connects Interstate 15 to Interstate 5. Going east, the 76 connects to State Route 79. It is a rather curvaceous highway. In some areas, especially as it rounds Palomar Mountain, its twists and turns can turn even the most veteran driver into a slow, cautious mover. Most commonly, though, the San Diego traffic on the 76 is usually toward I-5.
From the 15 to the 5, State Route 76 is a two-lane highway that passes through the areas of South Fallbrook, Bonsall, North Vista, San Luis Rey and Oceanside. The traffic is usually constant and stop-and-go traffic is very possible as the highway is freckled with plenty of stoplights.
When it comes to your travel on the 76, be especially caution when headed east toward the 15. If you’re coming from the Oceanside or North Vista area, the 76 will abruptly turn into a winding, more rural roadway. Given that some residential streets end into the 76, be aware of incoming traffic merging into the 76. Sudden stops are common. Always keep a good distance from the car ahead of you.
About State Route 78
Like its cousin, Route 76, State Route 78 also connects the 15 to the 5; however, this highway is situated farther south than the 76. Going east, the 78 connects to the 86 near El Centro. In fact, continue on the 78 and you’d find yourself in Arizona in due time. But, of course, in San Diego, most people use the 78 to travel from the 15 to the 5 and vice versa.
When headed west, the 78 passes through Escondido, San Marcos, Vista and Carlsbad. Just like the 76, State Route 78 has plenty of stoplights. Drivers are cautioned to drive slowly as frequent stops are likely.
Be especially aware of when the 78 comes to a halt as it approaches I-5. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself in a residential area with completely new speed limits and many stoplights – not to mention many pedestrians. Be extremely cautious on the 78 as you approach the 5 this holiday season! There is bound to be plenty of holiday traffic and children are out of school. You must drive the 78 at a slow and careful speed – it may just save your life or the innocent life of another.
This holiday season, let’s share the road for the sake of a happy and healthy 2015.