How many people die in car accidents varies from year to year. Since California reopened after coming to a complete halt due to the pandemic, many vehicles on the road have dramatically increased. Road user deaths went up around 19%, to about 20,160 road deaths in 2021, with speed and drinking playing a role on the account of fewer cars driving on roads.
During the pandemic, traffic accidents in California soared since more individuals embarked on reckless driving, resulting in devastating consequences per vehicles miles driven. However, with the economy open, more vehicles on the road increase traffic accidents across the state. Let’s see what our top wrongful death lawyer, Michael Ehline, says.
Use the tools you are given, for example, like common sense, and brushing up by reading this article, to stay safe. Our lead Los Angeles car crash fatalities lawyer, Michael Ehline, has added some bonus information at the end if you need to learn more about death rates and many factors considered in gathering these data statistics.
The Crash Data is In – California Motor Vehicle Crashes Are Rising
According to the National Safety Council, the United States communities will see more than 5.25 million car accidents annually and around 42,060 car accident-related fatalities in 2020. In 2019, for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, California cities saw 0.94 car accident deaths, compared with the national average of 1.11. But it spiked in 2020, which is a worrying concern as the United States economy opens up with more and more vehicles on the road.
In 2020, California witnessed 3,723 motor vehicle deaths, slightly more than in 2019. Many would argue that the increase is minimal, suggesting that traffic accidents are under control. That is not the case.
California went into lockdown in 2020, which resulted in reducing motor vehicles and road fatalities. This should result in fewer traffic accidents, but the slight increase since the 2019 data points to reckless driving by individuals on empty streets.
Now let’s compare estimated numbers with fatalities from the year 2021.
The current recorded figures by a search at the Department of Transportation portray a grim image of the traffic fatalities in the country. In the first half of 2021, the United States saw 20,160 fatal crashes resulting in deaths, almost 19% more crash deaths than the figures seen in the first half of 2020 vehicle miles. (Source, NHTSA.)
With official year-end crash data evidence still not released, California, like other states in the country, is on track to see an increase in car crashes. Los Angeles is the largest city in California. Statistics show the town sees many deadly crashes involving cars and SUVs.
2021: Deadliest Year for Los Angeles
A startling discovery in a recent news report raised concerns over traffic safety statistics in Los Angeles. Motorcyclists, pedestrians, and people biking are at greater risk than ever, seeing truckers with decades of experience forced out due to vaccine mandates and green truckers with less driving experience adding to the wheel truck problem. The news report stated that the number of accidents in the city in the first half of 2021 is on track to exceed 2020 figures, suggesting a nationwide crisis. The data compiled by the LAPD puts 2021 as one of the deadliest years for Los Angeles.
As more vehicles return to the roads, traffic volumes will start to normalize, reducing over-speeding and reckless accidents. However, as the relationship between traffic volumes and safety reaches pre-lockdown levels, it also means death due to a fatal crash every 36 hours.
The figures suggest that Los Angeles (in the first half of 2021) witnesses one death every 30 hours. Remember that it could be a pedestrian run over on a sidewalk or crosswalk, meaning more people were killed.
Comparing traffic data from the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2020 reveals some startling facts, such as:
- A 20% increase in DUI crashes. One model infers that 33% of all U.S. drivers who died in car crashes exceeded the legal limit in 2013. In California, that statistic was 35%. The state with the highest DUI driver deaths using those figures was South Carolina (47%), with Minnesota and West Virginia coming in with the lowest percentage at 24%. (Source, National Center for Health Statistics.).
- A 73% increase in DUI accidents cause severe victims’ injuries.
- A 20% increase in the number of hit-and-run accidents (speeding plays a significant role in recent years.).
- There is a 40% increase in pedestrian deaths due to car crashes.
An executive at the Department of Transportation that oversees the Federal Highway Administration and other authorities stated that car accidents have increased on highways due to improper safety treatments on the many arterials found on freeways.
Vulnerable Road Users Face Higher Risks
It is easy to blame individuals and their reckless behavior for a car accident. However, behavior resulting in reckless, DUI, negligent, or impaired driving is not the only concern the Department of Transportation is looking to resolve. People walking and fewer people in crowds lower visibility to drivers of obstacles, especially in rural areas.
California is constantly pushing for changes in legislation, increasing budgets for construction projects, and improving the safety conditions on the roads. All efforts are looking to reduce the number of car accidents in the state. However, further challenges have risen when saving lives is the goal.
With the state out of lockdown, many schools are looking towards resuming regular activity, which means children will be on the road more. An increase in children, pedestrians, bikers, and other vulnerable road users on the city streets raises further concerns amidst the mission to reduce accidents.
Will Increasing Traffic Safety Measures Lower The California Accident Fatality Rate?
There is no single solution to reduce or eliminate traffic accidents in the state. You’d want to believe that increasing traffic safety measures would help reduce fatal crashes. However, that is not the case, as making roads in California safer requires changes at both a personal and a systematic level.
Unrestrained occupants in cars not wearing seat belts can end up dead. Imagine how an unmaintained road can cause a rollover, resulting in devastating consequences with no seat belt worn. The preliminary data suggests drivers must play their part by strictly adhering to traffic laws and the state government to reduce accidents. These politicians should consider increasing investments in infrastructure and redesigning roads to force drivers to behave.
California has some of the worst road infrastructures in the country, putting the state at the bottom of the charts when it comes to public sector development. There may be minimum blood alcohol concentration limits restricting DUI accidents and the vehicle code to minimize crash deaths. As noted, California lags far behind when it comes to state infrastructure.
A combination of personal changes and improving state infrastructure is the only way to reduce the number of people killed in single-vehicle crashes, multi-vehicle pileups, and other types of accidents involving car occupants and pedestrians.
Schedule a Free Case Review With a Bold and Aggressive Lawyer Today
If you got into a winter or summer car accident that was not your fault, contact us at (213) 596 – 9642 for a free consultation with our superior legal experts, as you may be eligible for compensation. Ehline Law charismatically works with personal injury victims to help swiftly protect their rights and get them the overwhelming financial support they rightly deserve to get their life back on track.
We have helped over 3,000 injured victims recover more than $150 million in settlements from deplorable defendants and greedy insurers. Our brave and fiery team can help you do the same. Our motivated, world-famous attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you’ll be getting the best legal representation in California without any upfront legal fees.
Whether it is a negligent driver or a local government agency, we understand how an accident can push an injured victim into a world of darkness and are here to protect your rights and fight for your compensation. Contact us or visit us at any of our law offices across California, local to all neighborhoods, for more information. Let’s make our roadways safe by holding one bad driver liable at a time.