Estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that 3,680 motor vehicle deaths occurred in California during 2016. This alarming statistic represents a 13% increase over the estimated 3,249 traffic deaths from 2015. During the same time period, traffic fatalities increased nationwide at a six percent rate, meaning California’s increase far outpaced the national average.
Percentages aside, purely looking at the numbers of traffic deaths shows that California’s traffic deaths were more than any other state. There are a few common causes that are largely responsible for the increase in fatal accidents that legally entitle accident victims or their loved ones to compensation.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a California traffic death, reach out to a car accident lawyer in California if any of the following factors played a role in the accident.
Distracted Driving Is a Primary Safety Concern on California Roads
California’s Office of Traffic Safety offers a compelling Fact Sheet on the dangers of distracted driving, with arguably the most shocking statistic being that 80 percent of crashes involve some form of driver inattention. In 2015 alone, traffic deaths involving distracted driving rose by 9 percent.
While distracted driving is arguably the leading cause of traffic deaths and accidents in California, there are other all too common factors that endanger lives on the road.
Driving Under the Influence Continues to Endanger Lives
2015 NSC data shows a three percent nationwide increase for driving under the influence. California is doing better than the national average in this regard, as California’s alcohol-impaired driving fatality rate has been better than the national average in recent years and continues to be the lowest rate among the largest states for traffic fatalities (CA, TX, FL, NC and PA).
Despite the strides California is making toward reducing DUI safety risks, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities still comprised 29 percent of all California driving deaths in 2014. And, in 2013, 32% of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for either legal or illegal drugs, demonstrating that drug-impaired driving is also a serious safety issue.
Some California law enforcement officials worry that the California’s recent Proposition 64 approval that legalized recreational marijuana may cause a spike in drug-impaired drivers.
Speeding Is Continues to Harm Lives
The Office of Traffic Safety 2015 Annual Report revealed that 991 speeding-related fatalities occurred on California roads in 2014. The Office’s goal was to reduce the five-year moving average of speeding fatalities of 994 to 745 by the end of 2015, which was sadly unsuccessful.
The takeaway of these findings is that driver negligence and legal wrongdoing continues to cause serious injuries and even deaths on California roads. Accident victims and their loved ones who have been harmed by such legal wrongdoing need a car accident lawyer in California who will hold responsible parties accountable and pursue legal compensation for victims.
The Ledger Law Firm’s auto accident attorneys in California fight for injured victims by building a strong case that leads to the compensation California families desperately deserve and need in the wake of an auto accident.
Contact us today for a legal consultation with an auto accident lawyer in California who will be with you each step of the way in your California auto accident case.