CALIFORNIA CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY - AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER
MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754
California Car Accident Lawyer
During an average year in California, a car crash causes an injury every two minutes and a death every two-and-a-quarter hours. While some drivers stayed home during the pandemic, statistics show an increase in fatal traffic accidents during 2020. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drivers drove fewer miles during the pandemic, but those who took to the road drove less carefully.
Nationwide Car Accident Data
Because of the pandemic, miles driven by all vehicles in the United States decreased by more than 13% in 2020. Nationwide data nevertheless showed a 7% increase in fatal accidents from 2019 to 2020. The largest increase (15%) occurred on interstate highways in urban areas, followed by a 12% increase in fatalities on city streets. The smallest increase (3%) occurred on rural highways, including rural interstates.
The largest increase in fatalities involved car occupants between the ages of 16 to 44. Fatalities involving occupants over the age of 64 decreased, probably because older people were more likely to stay home during the pandemic.
The data gathered by NHTSA focuses on fatal accidents. As a general rule, however, when fatal accidents increase, so do nonfatal injury accidents. The car accident injury rate in California is 71 times the death rate.
California Car Accident Data
Early data from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) pointed to a 2% decrease in fatal traffic accidents during the first half of 2020 as compared to the first half of 2019. As stay-at-home orders eased in the second half of the year, that trend probably reversed. The OTS has not yet released data for the full year.
In 2017, the most recent year for which verified statistics are available, there were 193,564 crashes on California roads that injured 277,160 people. Of those injury victims, 222,356 were car or light truck occupants. The other victims were pedestrians, bicyclists, or bus passengers. Crashes killed 3,904 traffic accident victims in 2017, including 2,137 car occupants.
Every California county contributed to the 2017 injury accident statistics. The largest number of crashes (62,574) occurred in Los Angeles County. Other counties with large number of injury accidents included: Orange County (15,173), San Diego County (14,694), Riverside County (10,511), and San Bernardino County (10,020). Sierra County had the fewest injury accidents, with 31.
Causes of California Car Accidents
When stay-at-home orders were in effect, fewer cars were on the road. With an end to traffic jams, the cars that took to the streets were driving much faster. The California Highway Patrol reported a sharp increase in speeding tickets when stay-at-home orders were in effect, with some drivers hitting 100 mph on highways and freeways.
Speeding has always been a significant cause of traffic accidents. Driving at an excessive speed is the primary factor in 32% of all California traffic crashes.
Impaired driving is another leading cause of California traffic accidents. In 2017, alcohol was a factor in 18,569 California crashes. Alcohol also contributed to 1,167 fatal accidents.
It is difficult to pin down the number of accidents in which texting or using an electronic device contributes to an accident. The NHTSA estimates that 20% of crashes are caused, at least in part, by distracted driving. An OTS survey of California drivers found that 28.8% of Californians identified texting or talking on a phone as the biggest problem on California roads.
California Car Accident Injuries
Rear-end collisions are the most common traffic accident in California. While insurance companies have attempted to ridicule whiplash injuries, experts in biomechanics have established that even a 10 mph rear-end collision can generate sufficient force to cause a significant neck injury.
In many cases, symptoms of whiplash first appear in the days that follow the collision. To avoid being accused of faking an injury, it is important to see a doctor at the first twinge of neck pain following a rear-end collision. The pain is only likely to increase if it isn't treated immediately.
Side impact (T-bone) collisions can cause rollovers that produce fatal injuries. Even at relatively low speeds, a side-impact collision can cause broken bones, joint injuries, head trauma, and damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Head-on collisions have the greatest risk of causing fatal or catastrophic injuries. Even when occupants are saved by airbags, they may suffer from severe facial lacerations, internal organ damage, neck and back injuries, and a variety of other harms.
California Car Accident Lawyer
When car accidents cause serious injuries, victims need a serious lawyer. California Car Accident Attorney Michael Rehm help accident victims make claims against negligent drivers. He also helps victims make claims against their own insurance companies when they are injured by hit-and-run or uninsured drivers.
If you have been injured in a Auto Accident in California, call Attorney Michael Rehm for a free confidential consultation at (800) 978-0754.