Government data reveals that California’s average of deaths per 100 miles driven is .11 lower than the national average of 1.15. If the trend continues, those numbers could drop down to under one person. This is in part due to the fact the state spent $82 million in the 2010 federal fiscal year on grants to improve highway safety and target drunk drivers in the campaign “Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.” The campaign seems to be successful thus far, since California’s rate of road deaths lowered 20% over three years, as the state’s population continued to rise.
In other good news for Californians, seat belt use is higher than 95%, say news reports. Drunk driving fatalities, the number one cause of highway deaths, lowered 21% since 2005. Speeding is the next highest contributing factor. The California Office of Traffic Safety noted that in September, 2009 there were 950 alcohol-related driving deaths, while during the same time the previous year there were 1,025.
Safety standards save money, as fatal crashes in 2008 cost $12.7 billion, or $3.5 million per victim. Costs of injuries averaged $106,000 each injury, or $10.3 billion altogether. One theory as to why drivers are becoming safer is that people are slowing down to save money on speeding tickets and gas. The ban on cell phone use while driving is also a factor.
As a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, I am glad to see fewer driving deaths are reported each year in California and I hope to see that trend continue. If you need legal assistance with a auto accident you or a loved one were involved in, consult with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.