California Car Accident Statistics 2024 – Traffic Fatalities CA

The state has a relatively poor reputation when it comes to driving, especially when one looks at the accident statistics, the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers, and the top causes of accidents reported throughout the state. Each year, government agencies and other organizations collect accident data and release reports of their findings. Therefore, it’s a good idea for all drivers to understand the risks they face every time they drive and the most common reasons for car accidents throughout the state.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

According to the latest accident data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Highway Patrol, and various nongovernment organizations, the leading causes of car accidents in the state are:

  • Distracted driving. This is the top-reported cause of all vehicle crashes in the United States each year. Just seconds of inattentive driving is more than enough to mean a serious or even fatal accident. Anything that distracts the driver’s focus and attention away from operating their vehicle can potentially cause an accident.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. This is illegal in every state, and the penalties for DUI include a fine, suspension of the driver’s license, and jail time. In addition, penalties increase if a driver has prior DUI convictions on their record and/or they injure or kill someone while driving under the influence.
  • Speeding. Whenever a driver exceeds the speed limit, they put themselves and others at risk, not only increasing their chances of causing an accident but also amplifying the harm done if an accident does occur.
  • Moving violations. Any action that disrupts the flow of traffic and/or startles unsuspecting drivers can cause a serious accident. Illegal turns, running red lights and stop signs, and other moving violations commonly occur in areas with heavy traffic.

It’s vital for anyone who experiences a car accident to determine the cause and identify the driver responsible for the damages. According to recent years’ accident data, hundreds of thousands of injuries occur in traffic accidents throughout the state each year, leaving many victims with expensive medical bills, economic strain from the inability to work, and many other damages.

If you are involved in a serious accident, an experienced attorney will help determine the best path toward recovering your losses. California law requires drivers to have auto insurance, but the state has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country. Therefore, recovering an insurance settlement may not be an option in your case, and if it is, there is no guarantee that the settlement you receive will fully compensate your damages.

For the best chance of recovering as fully as the law allows after your accident, you will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney who can guide you through your recovery efforts with confidence. The right attorney can streamline the insurance claim process and ensure the at-fault driver’s insurance company offers a fair settlement, and if this is not enough to fully repay your losses, they can guide you through the personal injury claim filing process.

FAQs About California Car Accident Law

How Many People Died in Car Accidents Last Year in California?

2022 was one of the deadliest years on record when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. According to data from the California Highway Patrol and other agencies, more than 3,900 people died in fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state in 2022. In addition, more than 277,000 injuries from car accidents were reported in 2022.

What Is the Leading Cause of Traffic Fatalities?

Distracted driving consistently ranks at the top of the list of most common causes of fatal and nonfatal car accidents in the United States. Cell phone use is the most commonly cited form of distracted driving, despite the state’s ban on the use of cell phones while driving without the use of a hands-free device. Any distraction behind the wheel has the potential to create a fatal accident.

What Are the Chances of Dying in a Car Accident in California?

Roughly 8% of all vehicle crashes in the state result in fatal injuries. While this may seem like it translates to an 8% chance of dying in a car accident, many other variables come into play, and it’s possible for fatal injuries to occur in many ways. For example, two people could appear to experience seemingly identical crashes while one suffers much worse injuries than the other. In addition, speed, vehicle safety features, overall vehicle condition, road conditions, and other factors all contribute to fatal accidents.

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Dying in a Car Accident?

You may not be able to always anticipate the actions of other drivers 100% of the time, but you can take a few steps to limit your risk of causing a fatal vehicle accident. Wearing your seatbelt, driving attentively, and heeding posted traffic signals and speed limits are a few ways you can reduce your risk of causing an accident. In addition, defensive driving and investing in a vehicle with a high safety rating can also help limit the risk of fatal injury if another driver crashes into your vehicle.

How Much Can I Claim in Compensation for a Car Accident?

When another driver is responsible for causing an accident with you, state law dictates that they are liable for the full scope of economic losses they caused you to suffer. You can also claim compensation for the pain and suffering they caused. An experienced car accident attorney is the best resource to consult to determine your rights to compensation after any vehicle accident in California.

The attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen have helped many clients recover from car accidents, and we can put this experience to work for you. If another driver is responsible for injuring you or someone you love, our firm can guide you through the insurance claim process and help you build a personal injury case if necessary. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our firm and learn more about the legal services we provide.