California Car Crash Statistics Today & Yesterday
Jul 17, 2023 | Read Time: 4 minutes | California Car Accident News
With an estimated 14,268,528 registered vehicles across the Golden State, it is no surprise that car accidents occur every day in California. City streets, county roads, and state highways are major parts of what make up the over 174,900 miles of maintained California roadways totalling over 329,100 lane miles. Texas is the only state with more lane miles than California.
Driving conditions in California can vary greatly from one end of the state to another. Though city streets and highways are prone to congestion, rural roads can lack traffic indicators and adequate lighting.
Here, we keep you up to date with California car accident news from one end of the state to the other.
It may be interesting to read through a few California car accident statistics from 2022 and the preceding years to understand where the state is now and how those numbers came to be.
Wearing a seatbelt can greatly impact the extent of injuries from a car crash. Since California’s “Click-it or Ticket” campaign launched in 2005, the state has seen an increase in seatbelt use. The NHTSA estimates nearly 15,000 lives were saved in 2017 due to seat belts. Violations for an adult not wearing their seatbelt is over $100, and fines triple when an adult fails to ensure that a passenger under the age of 16 buckles up.
Los Angeles is the largest city in Southern California and the second largest city in the U.S., with an estimated population of 3.86 million. Along with beaches and movie stars, LA is known for congested highways and seemingly impossible intersections. There are many areas that locals know to avoid at certain times of the day or risk spending hours waiting in traffic to travel a few miles.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Los Angeles car accident statistics, in 2022 there were 26,132 vehicle crashes that resulted in an injury or a fatality in Los Angeles. Of those accidents, 3,297 occurred were speed-related and 2,784 happened at night.
The Los Angeles Police Department reports that 312 people were killed in traffic collisions in 2022, which is 5% more than in 2021 and a 29% increase over 2020.
A report from MoneyGeek compiled data from LA police reports and determined that the five most dangerous intersections for traffic collisions in recent years include:
The report also found that between 2020 and 2022, downtown Los Angeles had the most intersection crashes of any neighborhood in the city, totaling 937 accidents resulting in a fatality or serious injuries.
Vehicle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, most of which involve a negligent action on inaction by one or more drivers. Negligent behavior can be the product of carelessness, intent, or an honest mistake. Regardless of how an accident occurs, drivers in California can be held legally accountable for their actions. The following are some of the most common causes of vehicle accidents across the state.
Driving faster than the posted speed limit reduces a driver’s ability to react to changing traffic conditions. High-speed collisions often cause greater damage than those at low speeds, though low-speed collisions can still be dangerous.
Any action that involves diverting the attention of the driver away from the road is a driving distraction. Using the phone in any capacity is a common distraction, but there could be many others, such as trying to grab something off the floorboard, changing the radio, or looking at something outside the vehicle.
Alcohol or drug use (recreational or prescription) can impair a driver’s ability to make quick decisions and reduce motor skills. There are severe legal punishments for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Public roads are required to be maintained to ensure driver safety. Damaged traffic indicators like stop lights and signs are generally the responsibility of the federal, state, or local government. Inclement weather conditions can also be a factor in California traffic accidents.
Car manufacturers are legally obligated to ensure the reasonable safety of the vehicles and vehicle components they sell. A defect could contribute to causing an accident or exacerbate injuries.
In 2015, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) committed to an initiative called Vision Zero, intended to eliminate traffic deaths in Los Angeles by 2025. Many other states have also implemented this initiative including Sacramento, San Diego, and more. Each Vision Zero strategy is tailored to the specific needs of the area.
In 2020, there were 35,766 total fatal vehicle accidents across the United States, and California ranked for the most at 3,558 deaths.
Stay current on the latest California car accident news, including reports of vehicle fatalities across the state. If you have been impacted by the loss of a loved one due to another driver’s negligent behavior or another factor out of their control, consider contacting a California fatal car accident attorney to understand your legal rights.