With over 39 million people, California continues to be the state with the highest resident population in the United States. Great weather, beaches, food, and entertainment are just some of the reasons so many people live and visit the Golden State. However, driving through major cities like Los Angeles continues to be a problem. Driving is one of the most popular ways to get around and with the staggering number of cars on the road, accidents happen every day.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2019, there was a total of 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes and 36,096 deaths in the U.S. In California, there was a total of 3,316 fatal crashes and 3,606 deaths.
Below are more relevant California car accident statistics you should know about:
Historic Snapshot of California Car Accident Statistics
In 2017, there was a total of 197,146 fatal and injury traffic accidents in California. Of that total, 3,582 were fatalities and 193,564 were injuries. Although the number of fatal crashes were higher compared to 2016 (where there was 3,552 fatalities), the number of injury crashes decreased (where there was 195,347 injuries). Here are some additional important California crash facts to know from that year:
- 2,137 vehicle occupants were killed. However, this excludes pedestrians, bicyclists, emergency vehicles, and buses. Of these deaths, 473 weren’t using safety equipment. Of the 222,356 vehicle occupants injured, 8,907 weren’t using safety equipment.
- The number of vehicle occupants who died increased by 4.6% compared to 2016. The number of vehicle occupants injured that year also increased by 0.8%.
- On average, there was 1 fatal or injury traffic crash reported every 3 minutes.
- On average, 1 person was killed every 2 hours and 14 minutes due to a traffic crash.
- On average, 1 person was injured every 1 minute and 53 seconds due to a traffic crash.
- There were 71 persons injured for each person killed.
- Speed was indicated as the main reason for accidents in California, accounting for 32% of the fatal and injury crashes.
- Alcohol involved fatal crashes increased by 4.4%. Additionally, victims killed when alcohol was involved increased 5.8% compared to the previous year.
- Hit-and-run was indicated in 7.5% of the fatal and injury accidents.
- The mileage death rate in 2017 was 1.13, which means that a little more each mile in the state of California, one person died from a car crash.
Unfortunately, there was not a single day that California didn’t have traffic fatality that year. Below are important additional California traffic safety statistics you should know about:
Alcohol Related Car Accident Statistics in California
- From 2018 to 2019, fatalities in accidents that involved a driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher decreased 4.5% from 1,116 to 1,066.
Drug Related Car Accident Statistics in California
- 50% of all drivers who died in a motor vehicle accident who tested positive for either legal or illegal drugs increased 8% from 2018 to 2019.
Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics in California
- From 2018 to 2019, teen motor vehicle fatalities (age 16 to 19) decreased 25.2%, dropping from 219 to 164.
- In that same year, teens driver fatalities (age 16 to 19), decreased 12.7%, dropping from 95 to 83.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in California
- From 2018 to 2019, motorcycle-related accident fatalities decreased 9.4%, dropping from 523 to 474.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Statistics in California
- From 2018 to 2019, pedestrian fatalities decreased 0.6% from 978 to 972.
- From 2018 to 2019, fatalities with pedestrians aged 65 and older increased 1.9% from 218 to 222.
- From 2018 to 2019, bicycle-related fatalities decreased 19.5% from 165 to 133.
Recent Increases in California Car Accident Statistics
In the first half 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that approximately 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes, an increase of 18.4% compared to 2020. Sadly, that’s the largest number of projected fatalities since 2006. NHTSA also reported that traveling without a seatbelt and speeding continued to be higher than during pre-pandemic times.
In California, there was approximately 3,723 motor-vehicle deaths in 2020, a slight increase from 2019. Most of the deaths from motor vehicles in the state involved passenger cars followed by light trucks and motorcycles accounting for a small portion of the deaths. Unfortunately, motor-vehicle related deaths continue to be a significant problem in California and throughout the United States.
Los Angeles Car Accident Statistics
Los Angeles is the largest city in California by population size and continues to be one of the most traffic congested cities. Vision Zero, an initiative by the City of Los Angeles to eliminate traffic-related deaths by 2025, seems increasingly unachievable. Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015, but the program failed to meet its first benchmark to reduce traffic deaths by 20% before 2017.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), approximately 200 people are killed each year while moving through Los Angeles. About half of the victims killed are older adults and children. Sadly, traffic collision is the leading cause of death for children in Los Angeles.
According to data from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) through December 25, 289 people were killed in a traffic-related collision in 2021– a 21% increase compared to the same time in 2020. This is also a 19% increase over the same time frame in 2019. Additionally, 1,465 people were severely injured, accounting for a 30% increase over the same frame in 2020. The LAPD defines severely injured as requiring transportation from the collision.
For pedestrians, the city streets are just as unsafe. 486 victims were severely injured by motorists, accounting for a 35% increase compared to 2020. Pedestrian deaths increased by 6%, a total of 128.
In 2016, total traffic deaths rose significantly in Los Angeles. While 261 fatalities were recorded in 2015, that number spiked to 261 in 2016. Since that time, total traffic fatalities which includes motor vehicle occupants, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians, in Los Angeles slightly decreased:
- 2017 – 247 traffic-related deaths
- 2018 – 246 traffic-related deaths
- 2019 – 246 traffic-related deaths
- 2020 – 238 traffic-related deaths
However, a recent report from the LADOT showed that traffic accidents that resulted in severe injuries and fatalities increased in every single category tracked by the LAPD through the first six months of 2021.
2021 Was the Deadliest Year for Car Accidents in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists are facing significant risks on the roads. In recent news, experienced truck drivers are being forced out of their jobs due to the vaccine mandates leaving less experienced truck drivers on the road–adding to the city’s traffic accident problems. The news report also stated that the number of accidents in Los Angeles in the first six months of 2021 was on track to exceed the numbers in 2020, suggesting a nationwide crisis. Data compiled by LAPD showed 2021 as one of the deadliest years for car accidents Los Angeles.
As the world opens and more cars return to the roads, traffic will begin to normalize– leading to a reduction in reckless and over-speeding accidents. On the other hand, as the relationship between traffic volumes and safety also starts to normalize, it also means a fatal death crash every 36 hours.
Currently, the numbers suggest that Los Angeles (in the first six months of 2021) experienced one death every 30 hours. For example, this could mean a pedestrian getting run over on a crosswalk or sidewalk.
Compared to traffic accident statistics from first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, some startling facts were revealed including:
- 20% increase in DUI accidents. One of the models concluded that 33% of all drivers in the United States who died in car accident were over the legal limit in 2013. According to National Center for Health Statistics, in California, that number was 35%. South Carolina had the highest percentage of DUI driver deaths at 47%. West Virginia and Minnesota had the lowest percentage at 24%.
- 73% increase in DUI crashes that resulted in severe injuries.
- 20% increase in hit-and-run accidents, with speed playing a significant role in recent years.
- 40% increase in the number of pedestrian deaths because of car crashes.
Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles
According to the LAPD, the deadliest intersections in Los Angeles were:
For total collisions:
- San Pedro St. and Washington Blvd.
- Florence Ave. and Vermont Ave.
- Oxnard St. and Van Nuys Blvd.
- Highland Ave. and Hollywood Blvd.
- Caesar E. Chavez Ave. and Soto St.
- Avalon Blvd. and Imperial Highway
- De Soto Ave. and Lassen St.
- Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.
- Humboldt St. and San Fernando Road
- Anaheim St. and King Ave.
- Valley Vista Blvd. and Van Nuys Blvd.
- La Brea Ave. and Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles Historic Car Accident Statistic Data
According to data from LADOT, Los Angeles’ pre-pandemic numbers show overall deaths from traffic-related collisions remained flat from 2017-2019 after decreasing slightly from 2016. The number of pedestrians deaths remained flat or increased during that time.
Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Statistic Data
The number of injuries increased again in 2021, up 24% through December 25 compared to the same period in 2020. 18 bicyclists were killed, accounting for a 20% increase.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in California
Everyone traveling in California is at risk of getting into a traffic-related accident. Learning about the causes can help you reduce your risk of getting into an accident and contributing to the California traffic accident statistics. Below is a list of the most common causes of car accidents in California:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Breaking traffic safety laws
- Failure to yield
- Drowsy driving
- Inexperienced driving
- Aggressive driving
- Dangerous roadways
- Bad weather
- Driving at night
- Tailgating (following another car too closely)
- Highway construction
- Teen driving
Driver error is the main cause of car accident in California. Other common causes include motor vehicle defects such as defective tires or defective braking system. Poorly maintained roadways such as potholes or poorly designed roads is also one of the top reasons for car crashes. Drivers who break traffic safety laws such as running stop signs or engaging in unsafe lane changes also puts others at risk of getting into a car accident.
How to Make LA Streets Safer
Streety safety is a basic right for everyone in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution to making LA streets safer. While agencies such as the LADOT attempts to implement programs such as Vision Zero to eliminate traffic-related injuries and deaths, it’ll take more than just than that.
Making the streets of Los Angeles safer require numerous changes at the individual and systemic level. This means that each driver needs to obey traffic safety laws by slowing down and paying attention to the road. It also means that the city needs to invest in projects that repairs and maintain the roads. Creating safer traffic laws such as reducing speed limits, adding more stop signals, and safer crosswalks may also help.
Children, parents, and caretakers walking to schools need safe walking routes. Los Angeles’ senior population is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. Seniors deserve safe streets to walk and drive on. Bicyclists rely on well-maintained roads so they can bike safely to their destination. Whether it’s a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian, each person that travels throughout Los Angeles deserves to feel safe. On the other hand, anyone who engages in reckless or negligent behavior that cause a traffic accident need to be held accountable for their actions.
Schedule a Consultation with a Mesriani Car Accident Lawyer If You Have Been in a Car Accident
Getting into a car accident can be a traumatizing experience. While minor accidents may not always leave victims with significant harm, major car crashes can cause serious and fatal injuries. In California, car accident victims are entitled to compensation for their losses. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car accident, contact Mesriani Law Group to learn more about your legal options. Our law firm have over 20 years of experience helping car accident victims get the justice they deserve. We have successfully recovered over $100 million for our clients and have consistently obtain the maximum compensation.
Whether you were injured by a negligent driver or government agency, we can represent you against the other party and help you move forward. We accept clients on a contingency basis and do not charge you anything if we do not win your case. There is strict deadline for filing personal injury claims so do not wait to start your claim. Contact us today at (866) 500-7070 for a free consultation.
Car Accident Statistic FAQs
How many car accidents happen in the U.S. in 2021?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021. That is an increase of 18.4% compared to 2020. Unfortunately, that is the largest number of projected fatalities since 2006.
Which state has the most car accidents 2021?
According to Insurify, Massachusetts had the most car accidents in 2021. Massachusetts has the highest percentage of driver at-fault in the country, exceeding the national average by 31%. The state’s no-fault accidents rate is also above average at 16%. Nebraska was reported as having the second highest number of car accidents in 2021, followed by Ohio, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Utah.
What is the statistical probability of getting in a car accident?
According to Esurance, 77% of drivers have been involved in at least one car accident. The report also stated that the probability of you getting into a car accident are one in 366 for every 1,000 miles driven. Auto insurance estimates that the average driver will file an insurance claim for a car accident once every 17.9 years. So, if you obtained your driver’s license at age 16, you are likely to get into a car crash by the time you are 34 years old. Overall, this means the average person will be involved in about 3 to 4 car accidents in their lifetime. If you or someone you know got hurt or died because of a car crash, a California personal injury attorney can help you hold the at-fault party responsible.
How many car accidents happen a year in the U.S.?
On average, 6 million car accidents happen a year in the U.S. 3 million people get hurt as a result of a car accident every year. Each day, more than 90 people die because of a car accident. Approximately 2 million drivers who get hurt due to a car crash suffer from permanent injuries each year. On average, the car crashes were 6% fatal and 27% non-fatal; 72% resulted in property damage. The most common cause of accident that resulted in death was alcohol, accounting for 40% of the crashes. Other top causes include speeding (30%) and reckless driving (33%).