California drivers may be less safe on the roads than they were in previous years, and this is even more true for teenagers. Early figures for 2016 show that after a 7.2 percent increase in traffic fatalities between 2014 and 2015, deaths from motor vehicle accidents are continuing to rise. This comes after numbers were dropping between 2007 and 2014. Teens are considered especially vulnerable with almost three times as much likelihood of being killed in a traffic accident compared to other age groups.
Experts have been asking why this reversal has happened even though cars have become safer with features such as electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. Furthermore, advocacy groups have worked to raise awareness about issues such as using seat belts and driving under the influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths as a result of distracted driving across all age groups rose 8.8 percent in 2015. Other factors that were significant in causing accidents were speeding, not wearing seat belts and impaired driving.
One solution is to continue raising awareness in the general public about these dangers and the element of human error in motor vehicle accidents. Another is for parents to model safe driving behaviors for their children. This includes avoiding distractions like cellphones.
Nonfatal auto accidents can still have a high personal and monetary cost. While a severely injured person might expect compensation from insurance companies, the amount offered may not be enough. When the accident has been caused by the negligence of another driver, the victim might want to meet with an attorney to see if filing a personal injury lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist would be an advisable course of action.