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Fatal California crashes increased at more than double the nation

When you get in your car to drive to work in the morning or take your kids to school, you're likely thinking of what lies ahead: errands to run, chores to do and places you need to stop throughout the day. The last thing you're probably mulling over is your chances of getting into a serious car accident that day. Unfortunately, that possibility is not as remote as it should be.

A recent report by the National Safety Council shows that the number of victims of fatal car wrecks in California is increasing at an alarming rate, despite a decline in highway deaths in at least 12 other states. Last year's estimates showed California's automobile accident fatalities rose at more than double the national rate. So, what is leading to this upsetting increase, and is there anything you can do to help keep you and your loved ones safe on the roads of Orange County?

California car crash causes

From 2015 to 2016, the number of fatalities across the United States rose by 6 percent, yet in California during that same period of time, there were approximately 3,680 accident deaths, an increase of 13 percent compared to the year prior. Why this drastic rise in fatalities? According to the statistics department of the National Safety Council, the increase links to several factors, including:

  • A rise in the amount of traffic overall
  • An increase in drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs and prescription medications
  • Distracted driving due to cell phone usage

Experts at the NSC believe that, at least in part, more fatal collisions are the result of an improving economy in California, leading to more people out on the road. However, this alone cannot account for the worrying jump in deaths. They also believe that distracted driving plays a big part, as a recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that over 40 percent of participating drivers admitted to using cell phones while operating a vehicle.

What can you do?

You probably already avoid using your cell phone to text behind the wheel, since it's illegal in California. However, you may wish to go a step further and avoid using your phone at all, even if you have a hands-free system, as advisors are quick to remind drivers that even this is dangerous and distracting.

California does have some of the best safety driving regulations in the nation -- it's true, but regulations can only do so much. No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, you have no control over the misguided or careless behavior of other Orange County drivers. If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one due to another driver's negligent error, there are professional resources in the Costa Mesa area with the legal experience to help guide and support you in a fight for justice and compensation.

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