National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data is showing a 13% increase in traffic fatalities nationwide. According to a report by Esurance insurance company, despite recent progress in traffic safety, fatal crashes across the United States are 13 percent than they were five years ago. California saw a 16% increase in fatal crashes in 2017 compared to 2013. In 2017, fatal car accidents took the lives of 3,594 Californians.
What the Study Shows
In California, speed was the number one cause of traffic fatalities (29.8%) compared to driving under the influence (23.6%), drug-related crashes (6.5%) and distracted driving (4.4%). The state also saw declines in the percentage of fatalities involving speeding, alcohol and distracted driving and a slight increase in drug-related crash fatalities.
The study shows that although heavily populated urban states such as New York and California are expected to have the highest number of traffic fatalities, it is rural states that hold this record. According to the Esurance study, Mississippi, Wyoming and South Carolina were the top three states with the most traffic fatalities in 2017. Sporadic law enforcement patrols, uneven roadways and high speed limits are listed in the report as potential factors for high traffic fatalities in those states. You can look at the complete report on Esurance’s website (www.esurance.com/insights/dangerous-driving-study).
If You Have Been Injured
Regardless of which state you are in, the odds of individuals getting involved in car accidents are quite high. If you have been injured in a car accident, there are a number of steps you would be well advised to take in order to protect your legal rights and options.
- Be sure to file a police report, which contains your version of what occurred. Obtain a copy of the incident report, which is typically available within a few days of the incident.
- Get prompt medical attention, care and treatment for your injuries. Follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to treatment and follow-up care.
- Obtain as much evidence as possible from the scene. This often includes photos of the accident scene, the vehicles in question, license plates, roadway conditions, etc. Get contact information for other parties, insurance details and names and contact information for anyone who might have witnessed the accident. If you are unable to remain at the scene because you are injured and need to get to the emergency room, ask a family member or friend to gather these crucial details for you.
- Save all receipts and documentation related to your accident. This could prove extremely valuable and can help strengthen your personal injury case.
- Contact an experienced California car accident lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.