CALIFORNIA: THE STATE WHERE ROADS BLEED

By September 28, 2014 Attorney-Lawyer

The true ancestor of vehicles we see today was the petrol/gasoline powered auto-mobile the Benz Patent-Motor-wagon invented by Karl Benz in 1886. After that no one looked back. A new era of human transportation was initiated. But as with all other things advancements in technology often has negative effects which although are not seen clearly initially but in the long run turn out to be disastrous.

Car accidents are the by-product of the evolution seen in motor vehicles. It was Henry Hale Bliss who was the first person to be killed by motor vehicle accident on 12th September 1899 in United States and according to statistics from 1899 till 2012 about 3,551,332 people have died in car accidents.

Anything which goes unregulated ought to cause damage in one way or the other and incase of motor vehicle it is the regularly seen accidents which occur often due to breaking of prescribed laws or simply utter ignorance of authorities towards the issue.

America's First Car Accident Victim

Henry Hale Bliss, the first person to be killed by motor vehicle accident on 12th September 1899 in United States

California has been ranked the most dangerous state for road users in the United States of America. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety there were total “thousand six hundred and thirty two” (2632) fatal car accidents in year 2012 (data for 2013 and 2014 not available). In these 2632 car accidents 2857 people died. Compare this to the death toll of the September 11, World Trade Centre attack 2606 people died that day. This gives us an idea of how grave the issue has become today.

Further detailed study indicates that 37% of deaths were of passenger car occupants, 18% pickup and SUV occupants, 1% large truck occupants, 15% motorcyclist, 21% pedestrians and 4% bicyclists.

Why these accidents? What is the reason behind all these deaths (had it been something else one could have blamed it on Islamic terrorist but that is not possible).

IIHS reports that 339 people of the total 2632 killed in car accident had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the permitted 0.08%. So this is one major cause of accidents seen. Also statistics indicate number of people were killed where no restraint (like seat belts) were being used. Although it cannot be established with surety whether use of restraint would have prevented death or not but safety is always advised.

In terms of age group majority were young adults about 44%, 32% Adults, 15% teens, 7% children and 2% old adults.

The loss is not only in terms of lives, $4.16billion is lost in terms of medical and work lost cost. I know it is inhumane to mention financial cost in the same breath as lives lost but it is a fact one cannot ignore. And it further emphasizes the need to prevent such accidents from happening. It may be an arduous task but it is not an impossible one. I hope that roads become safer and citizens act responsibly and drive carefully hence protect lives of not only themselves but of those who surround them.