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Traffic Fatality Rates are Down in California and Injuries Remain High
New traffic accident statistics for 2010 that have been released show that the rate of fatalities is down in California, over those occurring during 2009 and years past. However, the number of injuries remains high.

New traffic accident statistics for 2010 that have been released show that the rate of fatalities is down in California, over those occurring during 2009 and years past. In Orange County, California the rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 was 49 lower than in 2009. During 2010 there were 105 traffic deaths in this Southern California county, according to the data from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration. Their data shows that traffic deaths were down by 375 in 2010, over the previous year.

Transportation experts, like economics professor at UC Irvine, David Brownstone said that the current economy and the cost of gasoline can be partially responsible for the decrease in traffic fatalities. He believes this is possible, since drivers are not driving as much as in the past when gasoline was cheaper.

Brownstone cited another reason for the decrease in traffic fatalities, due to the improvement in safety features, like airbags and anti-lock brakes that are standard on newer vehicles.

Caltrans is taking some credit and the California Highway Patrol, for the lower amount of traffic deaths. Caltrans said they believe that highway improvements and safety programs have helped in slowing the amount of traffic related deaths and injuries. The California Highway Patrol said that they have more law enforcement twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with all of their 103 CHP office’s staffed.

Statewide in California there were 2,715 traffic crash deaths during 2010, this was 375 reported deaths lower than during 2009. The amount of injuries suffered in traffic accidents number in the tens of thousands, every year even when the rate of traffic deaths decreases.

Highways and freeways in California are often congested and chain reaction accidents are not an uncommon event, which means that serious injuries can occur, even when obeying all of the traffic laws. 

In order to battle car collisions there have been bills enacted to make the use of hand held cell phone use illegal and text messaging. This is to prevent distractions that were causing the number of car collisions to creep higher in California. This has helped in lowering some car accidents, on freeways that have been named some of the most dangerous in the United States, especially in Los Angeles.

According to some of the traffic accident data in both fatal and non-fatal car accidents, including those with injuries:

  • There is an estimated car accident with injuries reported approximately every 150 seconds.
  • There are collisions reported approximately every 70 seconds in the state of California.
  • It is estimated that one out of every 71 people involved in a motor vehicle accident that is injured dies.
  • In 28.4 percent of fatal injuries speed is a factor.
  • It is estimated that one fatal injury death is reported approximately every 2 ½ hours.

The accident statistics are down from previous years, and they could be reduced even further if drivers were not distracted, were not careless or reckless on the roads. This is something that the cell phone laws have attempted to prevent, but that does not stop drivers from, still using them, still adjusting radios, eating, applying makeup and any number of other things that take their eyes and attention off of the roadway, if even only for a few seconds. 

Drinking, and driving under the influence, is another cause of some motor vehicle accidents, that many a Los Angeles personal injury attorney will run across, that results in serious injuries or fatalities in such a populous city. The seriously injured victim or the family that has lost a loved one are left with their lives changed after a car accident on the freeways or highways in California, even though the rate of traffic fatalities has decreased.

Statistics for the injured victim and the families that have lost loved ones, would show that there are financial changes, loss of the ability to work and emotional stress that could have been avoided if the driver that caused the car accident was not distracted, careless or reckless in their actions on the highway or freeway. Efforts continue to make the roadways in California safer, and reduce car accidents, and when they do not the injured victim or the family that has lost a loved one have avenues that can be used to hold the negligent driver responsible.

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