According to the National Highway Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), 2,791 people lost their lives in fatal car accidents in California during 2011. While this is a slight increase from the year prior, there has general been a downward trend in fatal crashes in the state since 2007 when 3,995 people died on California roads. This is good news, but our San Francisco car accident law firm believes it is still 2,791 deaths too many.
Common Factors Leading to Fatal Crashes
Using data from the NHTSA, the Statistics Brain website compiled a list of the most common causes leading to fatal accidents. Looking at this research along with information from EHow, we’ve compiled the following list of factors that lead to deadly crashes:
Drunk Driving (a factor in 32% of fatal crashes) – While targeted education and enforcement efforts have helped reduce the percentage of accidents involving alcohol from 60% in 1982, drunk driving is still the most commonly cited factor in fatal crashes. Drivers who died in alcohol-related crashes in 2008 had an average BAC of 0.16, twice the legal limit. Speeding (a factor in 31% of fatal crashes) – According to research, the risk of a fatal car accident doubles for every 5km/hr (3.1mph) over 60 km/hr (37.3mph) a vehicle is moving. Increased speed correlates with increased reaction time, meaning it takes more time to effectively brake at higher speed. Additionally, speed increases the severity of a collision. Distraction (a factor in 16% of fatal crashes) – As discussed in a recent blog post, distracted driving includes not only the use of mobile communications devices, but also things like fatigue, passenger conversations, eating or drinking, and manipulating items like a purse or briefcase. Driver distraction, an issue particularly prevalent among younger drivers, led to an estimated 5,870 deaths in 2008. Inclement Weather (a factor in 11% of fatal crashes) – While many people fear driving in winter weather, wet roads actually accounted for the largest share of deadly accidents related to bad weather. According to the NHTSA, 2,442 fatal crashes in 2008 involved rainy conditions and only a quarter of that number, 838 fatal accidents, involved snow or sleet.
Of course, the foregoing is not an all-inclusive list of factors that contribute to roadway fatalities. Other elements we see in our San Francisco fatal accident law firm include: Medical impairment; Drug use (legal or illegal); Driver aggression, and; Defective or Poorly maintained vehicles or vehicle parts (including tires). In many cases, a fatal accident involves multiple danger-elevating factors.
Our Thoughts, Our Wishes, Our Pledge
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of every person who perished in a fatal California car crash. We hope that the number of accident deaths continues to decline and we believe that awareness is one of the key parts of accident prevention.
When some or all of the fault in an accident falls upon another driver, the family of a deceased victim may have a wrongful death claim. Attorney Greg Brod is an experienced San Francisco wrongful death lawyer and can help guide grieving families through the process of recovering monetary compensation in civil court. Our team promises to provide top-notch legal services and also pledges to treat grieving families with sensitivity. We never forget that every fatal accident claimed a human life
See Related Blog Posts:
Fatal Accident Serves as Reminder of the Danger of Distracted Driving
San Francisco Accident Attorney on the Dangers of Drunk Driving