A car accident can happen at any time. There are clear steps that you can take to lessen your likelihood of being involved in an accident. However, taking these steps does not guarantee that you won't be involved in a crash.
It is estimated that the average driver will have at least one insurance claim for an accident every 17.8 years. California is generally safer than some of its neighboring states, but there are still almost 500,000 car accidents in California each year.
According to the latest data available, more than 3,400 of those accidents involved a fatality. Additionally, the most recent data from 2018 shows that there were 278,585 accident injuries in that year alone.
California's accident rate is less than the national average. However, since it is such a large state is still accounts for 12% of all accidents nationwide. 2017 was the first year of many in which car accidents were decreased, but they are still higher than the 10 year average. Even with the technological advances of Silicon Valley and the invention of driver assistance technology, car accident statistics prove that Californians are getting into more accidents.
According to recent car accident statistics, Los Angeles and Orange County were the two most dangerous cities to drive on in California. Learning more about car accident statistics in California can help to increase your awareness and help you to potentially avoid dangerous situations.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in California
Car accidents are caused by many factors. California does not release data on the most common reasons for accidents within the state. However, there is national data available. Some of the most common causes are listed below.
- Speeding: Speeding accounts for 26% of car crash-related fatalities. Speeding causes nearly 10,000 deaths per year in the United States. The most common reasons for speeding are running late, aggressive driving and not paying attention to the posted speed limits.
- Distracted Driving: The most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2017, 3,166 people died in car accidents due to distracted drivers. Anything that diverts your attention from the road while you are driving is considered a distraction. It is important to note that in the state of California, texting while driving is illegal.
- Aggressive Driving: Slightly more than 65% of all car accident fatalities are caused by some form of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving can be defined as any intentional act of unsafe driving that disregards the safety of others or is done in ill will.
- Drunk Driving: Since 2011, instances of alcohol-related car crashes have increased by more than 36%. A person that is convicted of drunk driving has driven drunk an average of 80 times before they were arrested.
Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Injuries occur in the majority of accidents. Many of them are mild, but there are a great number of severe injuries. Some of the most common types to occur in accidents are brain injuries, head/neck injuries, and spinal injuries.
These injuries can cause a financial strain on your life. Additionally, they can irrevocably change your life and the life of others involved in the accident forever.
Learning about car accident statistics in California is helpful before you get into an accident. However, if you have sustained an injury in a car accident, it is important that you hire a reputable car accident attorney.
How to Decrease Your Chances of Being in a Car Accident
The only way to guarantee that you do not get into a car accident is to stay inside and away from all vehicles. Since this is not feasible for most people, there are some common-sense steps that you can take to make the road safer for yourself and everyone else.
- Stay alert while driving, especially in urban areas. More than 60% of accidents in California happen in or near large cities.
- Pay attention to posted speed limits and pedestrian laws. Come to a full stop at stop signs.
- If you are cognitively impaired, call a ride share service or take public transportation. Impairment can include alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, tiredness, etc.
- Do not use your phone while driving. Without exception. If it is important for you to be on the phone, pull your car over and then use it.
What to do if You Are in an Accident
If you are in an accident in California, there a few important steps to take before contacting your attorney.
The first step is to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe. If everyone is ok, be sure to exchange insurance and contact information with other people involved. Additionally, take pictures from many angles and collect any evidence that you can. When you speak with the police be honest about the facts. However, never admit fault.
Even if you believe it to be your fault, call a reputable personal injury attorney and schedule a free consultation as soon as you can. Also, schedule a visit with a doctor to be sure that you have not sustained any unknown injuries during the accident. Sometimes injuries are not apparent until hours or days after the accident.
How to Find a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney
Being involved in a car accident can change your life in many ways. Your health and finances are typically what gets hit the hardest.
In the case that you have suffered an injury, it is important to contact a reputable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. When conducting your research for an attorney pay attention to their online reviews. In addition, ensure that they have successfully handled cases similar to yours.
Car accident statistics in California show that injuries are likely. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is only two years. So it's recommended that you contact an attorney soon after an accident. If you are involved in a crash, give the car accident attorneys at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates a call for your free consultation today.