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Fatal Car Accidents on the Increase in California

Posted on in Personal Injury

fatal car accidents, motor vehicle wrecks, San Jose car accident attorney, dangerous driving, motor vehicle traffic deathsCar accidents are unfortunately common in San Jose and throughout California, and even otherwise minor collisions can leave drivers suffering serious injuries. While more severe, fatal motor vehicle wrecks are less likely to occur, traffic safety experts claim this number has increased steadily over the past several years. The following outlines factors often involved in these tragic events, despite safety advances designed specifically to prevent them. 

Car Accidents Resulting in Driver or Passenger Fatalities

According to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), after seeing an overall reduction in rates over the last decade, fatal car accidents have been increasing steadily since 2015. More than 35,000 people are killed in these accidents each year, which represents a spike of close to 10 percent.

This is particularly surprising given automotive innovations, such as automatic braking systems and crash avoidance technology, which have become standard on most new cars being sold in the U.S. The NHTSA claims that lower gas prices may have something to do with the increase, resulting in more drivers on the road and creating potentially dangerous traffic conditions.

While traffic and road conditions are often factors in fatal accidents, the NHTSA claims that the following dangerous driving behaviors are most often to blame:

  • Speeding, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and results in more severe impacts;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, which can impair vision, judgement, and reaction times;
  • Distracted driving, which reduces your ability to respond to sudden traffic changes; and
  • Drowsy driving, which mimics the effects of alcohol and can result in falling asleep behind the wheel.

California Leads Nation in Fatal Collisions

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that California leads the nation in terms of fatal collisions, with close to 3,200 car accident deaths reported in 2015. This number is second only to Texas, and is double the amount in the neighboring states of Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon combined. 

As in other areas of the nation, fatal car accidents have increased over the past several years in California as well. The CA Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that after a slight decrease between 2013 and 2014, the number of fatal car accidents that occurred in 2015 rose by close to 10 percent.

Despite public awareness and the efforts of law enforcement, the OTS states that impaired driving continues to be responsible for nearly a quarter of all motor vehicle traffic deaths. 

Contact Us for Help Today 

If you have lost a loved one as the result of a fatal crash or collision, our dedicated San Jose car accident attorneys are here to help. Call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group online and request a free consultation to find out if you might be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death claim. We know that no amount of money can ease your suffering, but filing a claim can help you get a sense of justice for your loved one, while ensuring your future needs are provided.

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/traffic-fatalities-sharply-2015

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview

http://www.ots.ca.gov/OTS_and_Traffic_Safety/Score_Card.asp

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