Although the car accident rate in California has dropped significantly in recent years due to better safety technology and increased seatbelt usage, thousands still die on our roads and highways each year, while hundreds of thousands of people across the state suffer serious injuries in traffic accidents.
To truly understand why fatal car accidents happen—and to help prevent future car accidents—it is helpful to analyze recent crash statistics.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 2,715 traffic fatalities in California in 2010. This number has dropped steadily since 2006, when 4,240 people were killed in car accidents across the state (about ten percent of all traffic fatalities in the country). Also in 2010, 1,159 people died in rural car accidents, while slightly more—1,556—died on urban roads in California. Pedestrian deaths also have been dropping: in 2010, 599 people were killed by car and trucks while walking.
In 2010, the NHTSA reported that 791 fatal car accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08. In other words, 29 percent of all fatal car accidents involved illegal drinking and driving. A shocking 1,134 deadly California car accidents involved a BAC over 0.01 – that’s 42 percent of all fatal crashes. Since 2006, the rate of alcohol-impaired crashes in California has stayed mostly the same, though the overall number of alcohol-related fatal crashes has dropped.
In 2010, 480 people who died in California car accidents—about 30 percent—were not properly restrained by a seat belt at the time of the crash. However, this number has been almost cut in half in comparison to 2006, when 907 people who died in accidents across the state were not properly restrained. Safety experts believe about 110 more people per year could be saved if 100 percent of Californians wore their seat belts.
If you have been seriously injured in a CA car accident, or if you lost a loved one in a traffic accident, it is important to understand how the crash occurred and who was to blame. One of our Orange County personal injury lawyers can help you understand the evidence in your case and explain your best options for legal action. Call Russell & Lazarus today to schedule a complimentary appointment by calling (949) 851-0222.