Car Accidents in California
Research indicates that for every 1,000 miles traveled, US drivers’ odds of being involved in a car crash are 1 in 366. While these stats apply to the average American driver, we must consider how frequent car accidents in California actually occur. Additionally, what are the odds of being involved in one?
As common as they appear to be, it seems like nothing can quite prepare us for the terror of being involved in a wreck. Here’s an overview of some statistics for car accidents in CA and what to do if you’re involved in a collision.
Types of Car Accidents in California
Car crash statistics involve a few different types of collisions, consisting of fatal crashes, injury crashes, and minor crashes.
A fatal crash is a crash that results in the death of either the driver, a passenger, someone in another vehicle, or even a pedestrian. They are caused by a wide variety of factors.
These types of crashes are anything that causes physical and/or emotional harm–whether minor or major. It’s important to note that injuries sustained can range from mild to catastrophic to life-threatening.
Standard crashes that result in minor vehicle damages include fender benders or sideswiping. Additionally, these accidents do not cause the parties involved any physical harm. Regardless of the type of accident, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney for clarification and to explore your legal options, should you choose to pursue compensation.
How Data Is Collected and Reported
When it comes to car accidents in California, various state and police agencies release reports on auto injuries and fatalities. However, their methods of collecting and reporting the data vary slightly.
The biggest drawback is the huge amount of time it takes these agencies to compile and report their data. The most recent car accident data available is from 2019, but there is more complete data from earlier years.
2019 Car Accidents in California Stats
2019 saw a total of 3,606 traffic fatalities, for an average of 9.13 deaths per 100,000 people. While this is rather high, it was actually a decrease from previous years. Also, the stats are less than the 2019 US rate of 11 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people.
The number of fatal car accidents in Los Angeles County was the worst in the state. In fact, car accident statistics for LA in 2019 were 685 traffic fatalities. This equates to an average of approximately 6.8 deaths per 100,000 people.
Aside from that, the latest crash data available for California only comes from 2018 and only pertains to state highways. In 2018, there were a total of 152,581 crashes on California freeways, resulting in 47,007 injuries and 757 fatalities.
Unfortunately, preliminary data from 2020 and 2021 show that car accidents have been skyrocketing and seem to be heading towards the highest levels in years.
What Are Your Chances of Getting Involved in a Crash?
Since 2008, an estimated 1 out of every 143 Californians were injured in car accidents. Additionally, about 1 in every 73 licensed drivers were involved in a crash that resulted in injury or a fatality. That’s high.
As previously mentioned, these odds continue to increase. In fact, in 2019, a traffic fatality occurred every 2.5 hours.
You can reduce your chances of getting in an accident by being a defensive driver. Also, remaining observant of your surroundings will also go a long way. For example, if you notice a neighboring vehicle is continuously swerving, slow down, and keep your distance. The motorist could be intoxicated or just be a reckless driver. Regardless, steer clear.
Of course, you cannot completely avoid being in a crash. Even the safest of drivers can find themselves in a collision. This is why you need an accidnet plan set in place.
What Should You Do if You’re in a Crash?
First, do not panic. Of course, this is easier said than done. However, following a crash, it will be difficult to remember what you should do. Remaining calm will help you think more clearly and proceed in the most productive way.
In the immediate moment, you’ll need to get yourself out of danger and away from traffic. Then, you will need to check for injuries. However, if you’re not physically capable of moving, do not force yourself to. For instance, spinal injuries can be very devastating, and moving can worsen the damage. Instead, wait for help.
Next, contact the authorities and emergency responders. Police presence will help control the scene and arriving medics can immediately treat your injuries, preventing further injury. If you are physically capable, you need to follow these additional key steps.
After the accident, consult with a personal injury attorney. Some victims believe they can handle their case independently and that they will save money by doing so. However, taking on insurance companies alone and assuming you will be awarded a fair settlement is unfortunately unlikely.
Even speaking to the other party’s insurance adjusters can jeopardize your car accident claim. Instead, consult with a lawyer for advice and gain insight into what your legal options are.
Learn More About Handling Accidents
If you’d like to learn more about car accidents in California, handling the aftermath of a car accident, or have other concerns that you need to address, contact The Law Offices of Daniel Kim.
Our law firm strives to provide the best legal advice and services. We offer a free consultation and are available to assist 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us today.