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Leading Causes For Traffic-Related Injuries and Fatalities in California

Causes for Traffic-Related Injuries

Serious motor vehicle collisions happen every day in California. According to data published by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), more than 277,000 people are hurt in car wrecks in the state each year. These crashes can occur for a wide range of different reasons and every collision should be investigated. At the same time, many crashes have common causes. In this article, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers discuss the leading cause of injuries in traffic collisions in California.

Driver Error: The Cause of Most Car Accidents

While motor vehicle accidents are quite common, they are also largely avoidable. Most car accidents reported in California could have been prevented if all parties had taken adequate safety measures. The majority of car accidents happen because of driver error. A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that driver error is a causal factor in more than 90 percent of motor vehicle collisions. Environmental factors (weather) and vehicle factors (defects) are cited as factors in a far lower share of all motor vehicle collisions. A driver who causes an accident through negligence in California can be held legally liable for the resulting damages.

Speeding: One of the Most Frequently Cited Cause of Accidents in California

Speeding is dangerous. Unfortunately, it remains a common problem on our roadways. A recent survey from AAA found that nearly 9 in 10 drivers admit to speeding at least some of the time. A smaller share, 48 percent, report that they have driven more than 15 miles per hour faster than the posted speed limit at least once in the last 30 days. Alarmingly, ten percent of U.S. drivers report that they regularly drive at extreme speeds. The faster a driver goes beyond the speed limit, the greater the risk of a serious collision. Speeding increases both the likelihood and severity of a crash.

Rear-End Collisions: One of the Most Common Type of Multi-Vehicle Crash

A significant share of car accident injuries in California occurs in rear-end collisions. Rear-end crashes are the most common type of multi-vehicle wreck reported nationwide. Approximately half of all multi-vehicle crashes are rear-ended collisions. Most often, these accidents are blamed on the rear driver. Common reasons why rear-end collisions happen in California include: Speeding, following too closely (tailgating), and distracted driving. If you or your loved one was hurt in a rear-end crash, contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney for guidance and support.

Traffic-Related Fatality Causes

Speeding: One of the Most Common Violation Cited in Car Accidents

Speed limits exist for a reason. Speeding remains the most commonly cited violation in fatal car crashes—both in California and nationwide. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that excess speed is a factor in nearly one-third of all deadly car accidents. Drivers can go a long way towards reducing their personal risk of being involved in a catastrophic car accident by slowing down. Not only does speed increase the risk of a collision, but it also makes any crash that does occur all the more likely to lead to severe injuries or fatalities.

Intoxicated Driving: Increases Risk of a Fatal Crashes

While speeding is the most commonly cited safety violation in fatal car accidents in California, it is not the riskiest or reckless behavior. Intoxicated driving (drunk driving and drunk driving) is a factor in slightly more than one-quarter of all fatal car accidents. It is almost as big of a contributor to car accident fatalities in California.

The big difference is that while speeding is pervasive—most drivers report that they speed at least some of the time—intoxicated driving is (thankfully) less common. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. Not only do drunk drivers face the possibility of criminal charges, they dramatically increase the risk of a fatal accident.

Distracted Driving: Fastest Growing Highway Safety Problem

Distracted driving is also a significant contributor to fatal car accidents in California. Alarmingly, regulators have cited distracted driving as a growing highway safety problem. There has been a rise in fatal accidents in California over the last several years. Distracted driving—especially texting and driving—may be a factor in the increase. Texting while driving is a major distraction. It could be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Distracted driving can result in fatal accidents. All motorists must keep their attention on the road.

Contact Our Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys

At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are compassionate advocates for grieving families. If your family member was killed or injured in a motor vehicle accident, we are here to help. Reach out to us by phone at 213-985-1120 or connect with our firm online to set up your free consultation. From our Los Angeles office, we handle fatal accident claims throughout Los Angeles County, including in Long Beach, Torrance, Compton, Inglewood, Culver City, and Commerce.