Traffic Fatalities Increase in California

Traffic Fatalities Increase in California

Traffic Fatalities Increase in California

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove wrongful death lawyer. The high number of traffic fatalities in California in 2016 meant that the state placed second across the nation in the number of deaths. This information, released by the National Safety Council, showed that the number of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents was at its highest since 2007.

What Is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death occurs when an individual loses his or her life because of the negligent actions of another. Many people each year lose their lives in traffic accidents caused by negligence. For example, the decedent’s vehicle may have been struck by a drunk or drugged driver, a pedestrian may have been killed crossing the street or a motorcycle rider may have had a vehicle cut in front of him. For whatever the reason, the family of the decedent may claim fair compensation for the loss of their loved one through a wrongful death lawsuit. Although it won’t bring back your family member, it can help the family get through the tough financial times ahead. However, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. The lawyer can explain your rights, gather evidence along with the family’s financial losses and build a strong case.

Highway Safety Programs

The state of California partners with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to provide programs to address highway safety and countermeasures to try and lower the accident rate. Funds are distributed to state and local programs. In 2016, more than $96 million was allocated. Some of the money went to address the following areas:

  • Traffic services by police: $37,541,045
  • Drunk driving: $21,834,357
  • Drugged driving: $12,384,237
  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety: $4,077,943
  • Distracted driving: $1,225,000
  • Motorcycle safety: $773,343

Statistics on Traffic Accident Fatalities

  • In 2016, alcohol-impaired driving contributed to 1,059 fatalities, which represented 29.2 percent of all fatalities. Of those fatalities, 134 drivers were under the age of 21.
  • Drugged driving is more difficult to assess since there are no current tests that can accurately measure the level of impairment. Drugs include prescription and non-prescription drugs and illegal drugs such as narcotics, hallucinogens, depressants, and stimulants. However, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 57 percent of fatally injured drivers were tested for the presence of drugs in 2015 nationwide. Of that number, 34.3 percent were found to have consumed at least one of the drugs on the FARs list. Marijuana was found in 35.6 percent, and amphetamines were found in 9.3 percent.
  • 835 bicycle riders died in traffic accidents in 2016. Over half were not wearing protective helmets at the time of the accident.
  • Pedestrian deaths caused by traffic accidents jumped by 11 percent to almost 6,000 in 2016.
  • Deaths caused by distracted driving went down by 2.2 percent in 2016; however, it still resulted in 3,450 fatalities.
  • According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was 4,976 in 2016. This accounted for 13 percent of all deaths in traffic accidents.

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Elk Grove

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove wrongful death lawyer. Losing a loved one because of the negligent actions of another can devastate a family, both emotionally and financially. Call for my free, friendly advice at (916) 694-0002 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. At my website,, we also offer a contact form, and I will get back to you promptly.

For more than 35 years as an injury lawyer, I’ve been handling wrongful death lawsuits, as well as traumatic injury claims in areas such as brain injuries for Elk Grove residents as well as the rest of Northern California.

I am honored to belong to Million Dollar Advocates because of the work I have done obtaining verdicts/settlements for some clients of at least $1 million.

Feel free to look over a partial list of our Verdicts and Settlements and client comments at:

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