California Car Accident Statistics [2024 Updated] – Traffic Fatalities

Every year, various government agencies and nongovernment organizations publish car accident statistics from across California, highlighting the dangers drivers face and the leading causes of accidents, along with explanations of the economic impact of these incidents. These statistics provide insights into the dangers you face on the road, and a California car accident attorney can help you recover if you experience such an accident because of another driver’s actions.

Important California Car Accident Statistics

Car accident data takes time to collate and analyze, so reports published for public consumption are typically one or more years behind. For example, the car accident reports from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) have just released the 2020 report for California. During this year, more than 39,000 people died in fatal accidents, more than 203,000 were injured, and the state recorded more than 3,600 fatal crashes during the year.

Over the past few years, car accident rates have steadily risen in California, and this includes the rate of fatal accidents. One of the most troublesome aspects of the latest available data is the fact that fatal accidents among teen drivers have increased significantly.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), traffic fatalities increased nearly 8% from 2020 to 2021. The OTS also reported notable increases in the rates of driving under the influence (DUI), the number of unrestrained passengers harmed in accidents, and the number of motorcycle accident fatalities for this year. The most recently available car accident data from across California indicates similar trends for the following years prior to 2024.

It will take time before the accident reports for 2024 are released, but in the meantime, taking time to review available reports and learning more about the accident trends in the state can encourage a driver to be more cautious. However, it is impossible to predict how others might behave on the road. If you are hurt in an accident, a California car accident attorney is the ideal resource to consult.

Recovering From a Car Accident in California

Your California car accident attorney can help you gather various forms of evidence to support your case, helping you prove exactly how your accident happened and who is responsible. Proving fault is an essential first step in your recovery process after any accident in California. Once you prove fault, you will be able to pursue compensation for the damages you suffered in the accident.

Every driver in California is required to carry auto insurance that meets basic coverage requirements, and it is possible for you to recover compensation for your bodily injury and property damage you suffered because of the accident you experienced. However, car insurance alone may not fully cover your losses, or the at-fault driver may not have insurance at all. In these situations, a personal injury suit can help you recover your remaining damages.

An experienced California car accident lawyer can not only assist you with filing an auto insurance claim after a car accident, but they can also help you build a comprehensive personal injury suit that aims for maximum compensation for your damages. With the right attorney’s help, you may be able to recover more compensation than you initially expected.


Q: What Is the Most Common Cause of Car Accidents in California?

A: The most common cause of car accidents in California is, broadly, driver negligence, a term that can apply to any situation in which a driver fails to operate their vehicle with reasonable care or if they violate a duty of care behind the wheel. A few of the most common examples of driver negligence include speeding, moving violations, and distracted driving. It is also possible for car accidents to happen because of illegal misconduct.

Q: What Is the Most Common Cause of Fatal Car Accidents in California?

A: The most common causes of fatal car accidents in California are distracted driving and speeding. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of all accidents overall and contributes heavily to the number of fatal accidents reported throughout the state each year. Speeding is another leading cause because accidents that happen at higher speeds are inherently more likely to result in severe or fatal injuries.

Q: Is California a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

A: No, California is not a no-fault state for car accidents. The fault rule applies, so the driver at fault for causing an accident faces liability for the resulting damages. If you intend to seek compensation for damages you suffered in a recent accident, proving fault for the accident will be an essential first step in your recovery efforts. Your California car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence needed to establish fault for your recent accident.

Q: What Happens if a Car Accident Is Fatal in California?

A: If a car accident is fatal in California, the at-fault driver faces liability for the death in question, and the victim’s family would have the right to file an auto insurance claim as well as a wrongful death suit against them. A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim filed when a victim of negligence or illegal misconduct does not survive, and this type of claim seeks compensation for the victim’s surviving loved ones.

Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a California Car Accident Lawyer?

A: Freeman & Freeman, LLP, can provide the legal counsel you need for your impending car accident case without adding to your financial concerns with overly expensive legal fees. We only collect a fee from our client if we win their case, and our fee is a percentage of their final case award. This contingency fee policy ensures that legal representation is available to those who need it most.

The attorneys at Freeman & Freeman, LLP, have years of professional experience helping our clients navigate the legal aftermath of their car accidents throughout California. While recent car accident statistics can help you understand the risks you face on the road, it is still crucial to know the value of having legal counsel you can trust on your side. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn how we can help you recover from your recent accident.

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