Car Accident Fatalities Are on the Rise in California
With all of the safe driving technology available today, the roads should be safer than they’ve ever been. It’s easy to program a location before leaving, put on a good driving playlist, and keep your eyes on the road. Unfortunately, the increase in technology seems to have had the opposite effect. While it does make many aspects of safe driving easier, it also makes it far too easy to get distracted while behind the wheel.
Find out more about why traffic deaths are up in California, and if you’ve been injured in a car accident, set aside some time to talk to the personal injury team at Pisegna & Zimmerman. We are fully equipped for remote casework, meeting with clients via Zoom and handling documents over DocuSign. Call us at 818-888-8888 to set up a consultation now.
Fatalities Are Following a Troubling Trend
While car accidents dropped in 2020, largely as a result of decreased road traffic thanks to the pandemic, 2021 saw car accidents come back with a vengeance. In 2021, traffic fatalities in California jumped 10.7%, resulting in 4,258 deaths. California is home to 12% of the American population, and in 2021, it was responsible for 10% of all traffic deaths. While this does indicate that California drivers are slightly safer than the national average, it’s still an alarming statistic. It’s serious enough that state transportation officials call the trend a crisis.
It’s important to note that, should California continue following this trend, it may soon be responsible for well over 10% of all traffic deaths. While fatalities increased 10.5% across the country, California’s increased faster than average.
This Trend Doesn’t Just Affect Drivers
When people think of vehicle accidents, they generally imagine two-car crashes. Unfortunately, the increase in traffic fatalities doesn’t just affect drivers and passengers. It has also disproportionately affected pedestrians. Across California, pedestrians make up over 25% of all traffic deaths. Of those who suffered fatal injuries, almost 25% were killed in hit-and-run accidents. This is an alarming statistic—not only does it indicate an uptick in unsafe driving patterns, it also indicates an increase in drivers’ willful disregard for human life.
With so many traffic safety statistics heading in the wrong direction, many California residents are wondering what is happening. Distracted driving is often referred to as an epidemic that is making roads more dangerous across the entire country. Smartphones are everywhere, and many drivers are so used to the constant entertainment that they can be seen texting or watching videos while driving. On top of that, a growing number of vehicles have built-in infotainment systems. These make it even easier for distracted drivers to focus their attention somewhere other than the road.
Impaired driving is another major issue. In Sacramento, a California Highway Patrol officer was left in critical condition after an accident. He stopped to respond to a crash that fatally wounded a bicyclist. While assisting at the crash scene, he was hit by an impaired driver.
Experts are left scratching their heads. There are no easy answers, they say. Efforts will need to be ramped up on multiple fronts to drive down traffic fatalities and keep pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and drivers safe. These efforts may focus on enhancing legislation to limit unsafe driving, public health initiatives to change drivers’ attitudes toward road safety, and advocacy work.
What to Do After an Accident
As traffic accidents become more common, it’s crucial to know what you should do if you are involved in a Southern California car accident. We recommend:
- Calling the police. Report the accident immediately and notify emergency services of any injuries you observe. Be ready to tell the police your side of the story and exchange contact information with the other driver.
- Gathering evidence. Take photos of the scene, and take extra care to get photos that include both vehicles’ license plates. Make backups of your photos as soon as you can.
- Seeking medical care. Go to a local emergency room or urgent care facility, depending on the severity of your injuries.
- Talking to an attorney. A personal injury attorney should be your next stop. At Pisegna & Zimmerman, we can help you figure out if you are entitled to compensation.
Reach Out to Pisegna & Zimmerman Now
Don’t let a California car accident leave you financially drained. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you’re owed, and you can do almost everything from the comfort of your own home. We handle our documents with DocuSign and meet with clients over Zoom. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 818-888-8888 or sending us a message online.
William Zimmerman is an experienced Los Angeles work injury attorney at Pisegna & Zimmerman. He offers invaluable advice and assistance when dealing with the often complicated workers’ compensation system. As part of Pisgena & Zimmerman, he and his team are a full-service law firm that is dedicated to obtaining the maximum amount of compensation from all available sources.