Car crash deaths are widespread in the country, including in California. Nevertheless, most motorists and other road users like pedestrians still engage in dangerous practices on the highways, leading to the risking of lives. Without accurate statistics on California car accident statistics, most people take the number of deaths experienced on the road for granted, meaning that they may fail to comprehend the high death rates and actively work to avoid them. Hence, we recommend understanding the specific number of car accident fatalities and their primary causes to promote road safety. Additionally, you can use statistical information as evidence in court to support your injury claim, primarily if the cause of injury was from prevalent road malpractice.
Apart from studying the fatality statistics, you may also need to seek rightful compensation for your injuries and other losses, including the wrongful death of a loved one. As a result, partnering with a professional personal injury attorney is beneficial for you, as he/she will guide you through your case preparation process and represent you during the actual compensatory suit. At The LA Personal Injury Law Firm, you will have access to our well experienced and highly trained team of personal injury lawyers serving in Los Angeles, California. With our unique services, you can expect a smooth transition into your compensatory claim suit, where we will guide you through meeting all the requirements. Additionally, we are happy to extend our support to other matters related to your case, including tracing witnesses and preparing service documents for you.
Car Accident Fatality Statistics
Among the different types of accidents that occur annually in Los Angeles, passenger cars make up the highest percentage of fatal car crashes. Therefore, motorists who operate their vehicles personally have recorded the highest number of car accidents, leading to severe injuries and death.
While some possible reasons for the high number of personal car accidents point towards a driver's liberty to use his/her vehicle with minimal supervision, traffic rules exist to guide all types of drivers. Therefore, a motorist should uphold just as much care as any commercial driver under close control by the head office or employer.
Nevertheless, the statistics show a promising decreasing rate in car accident fatalities. In 2018, California recorded 3563 deaths from car crashes, with many others sustaining life-threatening injuries that could cause future complications. While the number of deaths was not too high, 92,020 accident victims suffered from other severe conditions from car accidents, including life-altering injuries. Subsequently, many passengers and other road users also became affected by car accidents and may have faced unreported consequent deaths.
The figure dropped minimally in 2019, with California recording 3540 fatalities after involvement in motor vehicle accidents. Among the recorded fatalities, most accident victims had sustained severe personal injuries that required immediate medical attention. However, most patients succumbed to injuries before or shortly after reaching the hospital. Additionally, other accident victims faced high-impact collisions that claimed their lives on the spot, leading to minimal rescue chances.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most car accidents occur at night, owing to several more prevalent hindrances at night time. For example, most drivers have impaired vision at night because of the darkness and bright lights from oncoming vehicles. Consequently, such motorists may have a more challenging time trying to focus on the road than daytime when vision is better.
Coupled with the common causes of car crash accidents, drivers expose themselves and others to risky situations that often result in collisions. The reasons of casualties vary from one set of circumstances to another, depending on what the involved motorist was doing moments before a crash.
Moreover, it is necessary to note that while most traffic concentration is in the central areas of the city, most car accidents occur in the city outskirts. A reduction in the number of collisions in the city is because the traffic congestion limits vehicles from moving at high speeds. Conversely, drivers carrying in the city outskirts have more driving space available, meaning that they can engage at higher rates and get away with minor infractions like running a red light. As a result, the more rural locations are more prone to high-impact collisions that cause irreversible effects to affected persons, including fatalities.
Statistics on the Common Causes of Car Accident Fatalities
As discussed, drivers engage in many different activities that distract them or put them in a risky position while on the road. Most of the driving malpractices that cause an accident are conscious decisions reached by the motorist, meaning that they are otherwise avoidable. Hence, learning of the different causes of fatalities in car crashes is essential in preventing a recurrence of the incidents in the future.
Moreover, suppose you are an accident victim who experiences life-altering effects after the crash. In that case, you can engage your injury lawyer and use the collected information in court when presenting your claims and demands. When your evidence has valid backing from statistical data, the presiding judge is more inclined to accept your requests and impose penalties on the defendant motorist responsible for your injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration produces annual reports on car accidents, among many other road occurrences. The statistical data shows the incidents in each category, depending on the origin of the collision. Common causes of fatal car accidents are:
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
DUI offenses are among the leading causes of gruesome accidents on the highways, mainly because of a motorist's impairment when under the influence. In most reported cases, the arrested driver will have high blood alcohol content levels, meaning that his/her brain coordination is severely impaired when driving. Consequently, the driver exposes many other road users to safety hazards, as he/she could cause multiple car crashes.
The California Vehicle Code has various laws prohibiting motorists from driving under the influence, establishing a DUI offense found under section 23152. Under the statutory provision, a motorist should not operate a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08% or more to prevent the dangers of drunk driving. Hence, when a police officer stops a suspected motorist and issues preliminary checks to determine the estimated BAC level, the suspect may face arrest upon the determination of higher alcohol content in the blood.
Moreover, the Administrative per se rules prohibit minors under twenty-one years from consuming alcohol, meaning that they may face a DUI arrest for traces of BAC levels lower than the 0.08% limit. The regulations apply a zero-tolerance policy on the minors, meaning that they face stricter restrictions on driving under the influence. Similar zero-policy rules apply to past DUI offenders who may currently be undergoing probation programs.
While the zero policy regulations impose strict rules on minors, around ninety teen drivers died in fatal car crashes related to drunk driving in 2018. The high number of young people succumbing to DUI fatalities played a significant role in recording many total fatalities that year, with 1369 accident victims dying after a fatal DUI car crash.
Despite all the regulations set in place, DUI car crash fatalities continue to lead to fatal car accident statistics. DUI related deaths make up about sixty-five percent of all fatalities reported from various other cases like distracted driving and speeding. With a significant percentage, drunk driving is notably a recurring problem that poses threats to motorist safety.
In 2016, drunk driving caused 10,497 fatality cases, with some casualties losing their lives in hospital, while others died on the spot. The statistics were highly alarming, leafing to a need for awareness and vigilant police checks at DUI checkpoints. Thanks to reducing the fatalities, the deaths dropped significantly in 2017, which recorded 7271 DUI-related deaths and injuries. While the cases reduced, many affected victims still encountered subsequent car crashes, with most of them sustaining severe injuries. Hence, their lives became altered entirely, leading to a need for significant life changes.
2018 also recorded an encouraging decrease in DUI car accidents, with the NHTSA recording 4929 cases of drivers involved in the fatal crashes. Despite the registered number of cases, some accident victims survived the incidents. However, around 1369 victims died from accidents, with a significant number recording high BAC levels.
Among the 4929 motorists involved in car accidents, 1069 recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more. The surpassed BAC limit shows that most motorists had violated the set regulations established in the vehicle code. Subsequently, the high impairment levels played a significant role in enabling the accidents.
It is essential to remember that DUIs affect car drivers and other road users as well. For example, in 2018, 204 motorcycle riders died after involvement in a DUI fatal car accident. Hence, if you lost a loved one from drunk driving, your lawyer can work to help you prepare a case against the defendants, to help you secure compensation for wrongful death.
Using High Speeds
Speeding is another common cause of car accident fatalities, mainly because the involved driver is likely to lose control of the car. Therefore, the motorist will be unable to control the vehicle even when he/she has already detected impending danger. Doubtless, engaging in high speed will often expose you to dangerous circumstances when on the road, meaning that you increase your chances of causing a car crash.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded around 10111 car accident victims involved in speeding car accidents. The high number of casualties and fatalities indicates the enhanced risks of using high speeds on the highway. In most cases, drivers will admit to speeding but will include a reasonable excuse to avoid receiving a speeding ticket from traffic officers. Hence, the availability of reasons for use has led to most drivers putting their guard down and using high speeds even in restricted areas.
Also, as earlier mentioned, most car accident fatalities are bound to occur in the city's less congested zones because of less restaining traffic. The prevalence of such collisions is high, with over sixty-one percent of recorded incidents in 2018 occurring near the city. Hence, motorists ought to uphold higher levels of care, even when moving in less congested highways. This way, they will avoid creating more hazardous situations that cause severe fatalities and injuries to themselves and other victims.
In 2018, California recorded about 925 deaths related to speeding. The fatalities often involved death on the spot, mainly because of the high impact associated with the collisions. Consequently, the high number of deaths should be in every motorist's consideration when operating a vehicle, to prevent him/her from driving at risky speeds that could end in death or serious personal injury.
If you or your loved ones are involved in a car accident fatality case, reaching out to your attorney will help you source evidence on the defendant's unlawful speeding activities that directly caused the incident. For example, your lawyer can source surveillance footage that shows the driver speeding despite traffic signs available to warn against such practices.
Additionally, your lawyer can include a car crash analyst as a key witness in your case to testify on the findings and reports of the collision. The professional plays an important role where information on the defendant's speed is limited, especially if no surveillance footage is available to provide persuasive evidence. With credible sources of information such as the professional reports, the presiding judge will accept your claims and consider the compensation you request.
Additionally, distracted drivers make up a significant percentage of car accidents based on the lack of concentration that creates room for uncoordinated driving. Usually, a driver may engage in three different types of distractions. Firstly, he/she may face cognitive distractions, whereby the mind is wholly detached from driving activities. Possible causes of mental distraction include thinking about a stressful issue for too long, leading to your mind's inability to focus on the road. While a motorist may still manage to engage several actions that stick in the mind's subconscious, succumbing to cognitive distractions can be dangerous because you may do things unconsciously and cause a severe car crash.
Secondly, a motorist may give way to visual distractors that draw your eyes away from the road. For example, glancing at your phone or trying to change the frequency on the car radio is a joint visual distractor, as you are unable to keep your eyes on the road. Additionally, if you have children or pets in your car, you may feel the need to check on them every few minutes. While the obligation to take care of your children and pets is essential, it distracts your driving, meaning that you create several chances for accidents to occur.
Lastly, a motorist may fall victim to manual distractors that require removing your hands from the steering wheel or shifting your legs from the gas and brake pedal. Commonly, eating in the car while driving is a standard manual distractor because you will have to use one or both of your hands to open food packages and eat.
The cellphone is a joint road distractor that combines all three types of distractors when in use. As a driver picks his/her phone and begins to scroll, he/she becomes manually distracted by using one hand to control the phone as the other remains on the wheel. Also, the motorist will have to glance at the phone screen to check on what he/she is typing, leading to visual distraction. Lastly, as the person thinks of what to reply or text to a recipient on the phone, he/she will also become cognitively distracted, meaning that the mind may wander off.
Subsequently, using your phone or any other communication device like a laptop when driving is extremely dangerous, as it demands a significant part of your attention. With over 74.8% of motorists admitting to using their phone devices at least once when driving, it is easy to tell why many accidents arise from distractions.
With many distractors on the road, drivers should be cautious and avoid handling too many activities when driving. NHTSA statistics indicate that over eighty percent of all car crashes involve distractions, regardless of the type of distraction that causes the incident. Hence, drivers should remain vigilant enough to prevent involvement in fatal crashes.
In 2016, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3450 victims, which made up about 9% of all fatalities that year. Additionally, 562 non-occupants lost their lives from distracted driving. A non-occupant is a road user who was not a passenger in the vehicle that caused the accident. For example, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are non-occupants who are also at risk of succumbing to fatalities caused by distracted driving. Consequently, drivers should actively engage in fighting distractors on the road to reduce the risk of deaths.
Failing to Wear Seatbelts
Wearing a seatbelt is paramount in upholding safety standards, as it prevents you from jerking forward and facing life-threatening impacts during a collision. Despite the importance of wearing a seatbelt, several drivers ignore the safety check and drive when unrestrained. Consequently, if a sudden application of brakes occurs, the driver and other unrestrained passengers may fall victim to the severe impact onto the windscreen or adjacent seats. The collisions may then cause serious head injuries and deep cuts that may escalate quickly and threaten the car occupants' lives.
In 2016, California recorded around 10428 car accident fatalities and injury cases from unrestrained passengers. Among the documented cases, most accident victims faced high-impact car ejections that caused death on the spot, while some died while receiving treatment for severe body injuries.
In 2017, fatalities from the failure to wear a seatbelt were 625, excluding all other cases, including irreversible personal injuries. The following year recorded a decrease in deaths, with 594 recorded fatalities from unrestrained passengers.
Often, wearing a safety belt is a personal responsibility, meaning that you choose to fasten it after entering the vehicle. Nevertheless, NHTSA requirements make it necessary for all cars to have usable seat belts, meaning that they should be fault-free to allow passengers to use them effortlessly.
Hence, if you or a loved one suffered personal injury from wearing a faulty seatbelt, you may file a compensatory suit to receive damages for the harm and injuries you sustained after a car accident. Moreover, the defendant may also face additional penalties for negligently failing to replace a worn-out or broken seat belt system, primarily if he/she operated a commercial vehicle like a taxi.
Personal Injuries Sustained After Car Accidents
Dealing with the injuries you or your loved ones sustain after an accident is difficult, especially if they change your normal bodily function. Common injuries experienced after a severe car accident include:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Deep cuts and abrasions
- Internal bleeding and blood clots
After making a proper recovery, your lawyer can help you seek compensation for all medical expenses and suffering experienced after the accident. Moreover, you can include claims for loss of wages and lost working capacity, as well as wrongful death that occurred after the crash.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
You may have challenging times ahead when you or a cold one suffers from a severe car accident that may include fatalities. You will have to deal with healing from physical and emotional damages caused by the fatal collisions. On the other hand, you need to think about filing for rightful compensation for all the harm caused, especially if you had to use a significant amount of money to pay for medical expenses, funerals, and recovery therapy.
With the help of experienced personal injury attorneys, you can secure your chances of recovering from the defendant involved in causing the fatal accident. A diligent attorney will provide sufficient information on all factors required for proper case preparations.
Moreover, you want a lawyer who also extends support by listening to your grievances and creating unique solutions for your case. At The LA Personal Injury Law Firm, you will benefit from our legal services from some of the best personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles, California. Our years of practice in personal injury compensation leaves you in good hands, as we strive to deliver the best possible case outcome. To get in touch, call us today at 310-935-0089.
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