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How Dangerous is Driving in California?

Los Angeles traffic is globally notorious for being as dangerous as it is jammed up at most any hour of the day. The rest of the state’s highways and cities don’t have reputations that are much better. Is it really that bad, though? Are the odds of getting into a car accident higher than you might expect? How dangerous is driving in California?

We have taken a look at some recent statistics and safety information to find out. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has a big list of stats and data, which we can use.

[Please keep in mind that the statistics are based on data from 2019. The reason for this two-year gap is that 2019 is the most recent year with a complete set of data. 2020 data is still being compiled, and 2021 is still ongoing.]

Important 2019 California traffic safety statistics about dangerous driving conditions:

  • There were 3,606 fatal car accidents in 2019, which is actually fewer than in 2018.
  • The data shows that there was about 1 traffic fatality per 100 million miles driven, though.
  • Drunk driving caused 1,066 deaths in 2019, which is, again, fewer than in 2018.
  • However, drug-impaired driving deaths accounted for 50% of all driver fatalities, up from just 8% the previous year; drivers in this statistic were impaired by prescription, off-the-shelf, and illegal drugs and substances.
  • Passenger deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts remained about the same at 620 in 2019.
  • Motorcyclist deaths decreased nearly 10%, dropping down to 474 from 523.
  • Teenage driver fatalities dropped by about 19% when considering all age groups.
  • Pedestrian fatalities also went down slightly from 2019, down to 972.
  • Bicyclists were involved in about 130 fatal accidents, another large drop from 2018, which saw 165 bicyclist deaths.

When considering all of this information, driving in California is dangerous, but not necessarily more dangerous than the average state. A key factor is to compare the number of drivers and miles driven to the accident rates. With so many categories dropping from previous years, it can even be said that California roads are becoming safer than many.

Still, if you get hit by a reckless or negligent driver while driving through Los Angeles, then you should file a claim against them for their unacceptable mistake. BD&J, PC can help. Contact us now to learn how to seek compensation after a crash.

Continued Reading

OTS 2019 California Traffic Safety Quick States Scorecard