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Major Causes of Traffic Fatalities in California

California can be a dangerous place to drive, as rising accidents statistics show. Getting to a destination quickly is a priority for most drivers, sometimes at the expense of safety. In the worst-case scenario, a poor decision behind the wheel can lead to a severe crash that kills the driver and/or other people involved.

According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, there were 3,246 traffic fatalities in California in the first nine months of 2021, which represented a 17 percent increase over the same period in the prior year. While there are varying causes, there are some behaviors that are more likely to result in serious or deadly accidents. Here are the most frequent ones:

  • Distracted driving — California authorities have stated that about 80 percent of car accidents are likely the result of distracted driving. This includes drivers texting or making calls on their phones. Even though using a phone while driving is illegal in California, many drivers still try to engage with their phones while on the road. Even eating, drinking or adjusting the sound system can prevent a driver from being fully focused on driving.
  • Speeding — Driving over the speed limit is also a risky decision that can end up with disastrous consequences. While speeding, a driver’s reaction time is greatly reduced and they can lose control of the car more easily. This is evidenced in the number of accident fatalities attributed to speeding.
  • Drunk or impaired driving — This illegal behavior can be incredibly hazardous. Impaired driving can result in the driver being drowsy, unfocused, or unresponsive and unable to properly operate a vehicle. Whether under the influence of alcohol or drugs, intoxicated drivers cause thousands of accidents in California every year.
  • Reckless driving — Fatal car accidents can also result from drivers making illegal maneuvers. This includes driving the wrong way down roads or making illegal turns. Intentional reckless behavior like following too closely behind another car or engaging in acts of road rage can result in fatal car wrecks.

If you have been injured or have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a car accident that believe was a result of reckless or negligent driving, an experienced auto accident attorney can advise you of the legal options available to compensate you for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Patterson Law in Santa Barbara has stood up for California car accident victims for over 30 years. We are skilled at establishing the causes of crashes and determining the liability of drivers involved. To learn more about how we can assist you, please call 888-479-4589 or contact us online.