Each year, thousands of motorists are killed on roads in California and across the United States. The National Safety Council estimates that approximately 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes each year in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Most of these victims were occupants of passenger cars, SUVs or light trucks.
With so many people in California and across the U.S. taking opioids for chronic or acute pain, it's not surprising that opioids would factor in some car accidents. In 1993, 2% of all drivers who were to blame for a crash tested positive for opioids, but in 2016, it was 7.1%. Now, a study published in JAMA Network Open has explored the possible connections between opioid use and the initiators of fatal two-car crashes.
While most Californians realize that it's dangerous to drive while distracted, they might be surprised to learn how deadly it can be. According to the National Safety Council, roughly nine people die every day in the U.S. because of distracted driving. About 100 people are injured in vehicle crashes every day because of the same problem.
California drivers will want to prepare themselves for winter road conditions. Though it may not happen as often as in other states, winter weather will cause the roads to become wet, icy or snowy. With this comes a loss of traction, longer stopping distances and a higher risk for cars spinning out of control.
Most drivers in the U.S. know that drowsy driving is dangerous. Yet 27% of drivers in AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index admitted to driving at least once in the past 30 days in such a state that they could hardly keep their eyes open. Drivers in California should know that drowsiness is a factor in some 328,000 crashes every year, nearly a third of which involve injuries. Around 6,400 drowsy driving crashes each year are fatal.
Drivers in California are often wary of teens behind the wheel, believing them to be more reckless, inexperienced and accident-prone. Car insurance payments and many statistics back up those beliefs, even if every driver needs to go through a teenage phase in order to improve their own skills. With concerns about distracted driving on the rise, many people are particularly concerned about teen drivers' connections to their phones, social media and other interactive devices. Statistics indicate that teens are the driving demographic most likely to drive while distracted and the most likely to get involved in car crashes.
Since 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been conducting driver-side small overlap frontal crash tests. However, it was only in 2017 that it began to test frontal crash protection for the front passenger's side. After testing several newer two-row pickups, the IIHS has concluded that passengers are, in fact, at a higher risk for injury or death than drivers are. Pickup owners in California may want to know more.
Around 40,000 people died in the year 2018 because of car accidents. It is estimated that about 4.5 million individuals were injured. It is likely that drivers in California and other states are interested in learning about practical ways that they can avoid car accidents.
Seasonal changes can lead to a variety of dangers while driving. This is true even in California's relatively agreeable climate. When heading out on the road, it is important to be prepared for certain potential risks. Understanding what dangers are possible in the fall is a way to avoid auto accidents with injuries and fatalities.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers in California and around the country, and many young drivers crash when they are distracted by friends or cellphones. Strict graduated driver's license programs are designed to reduce the risks, but the primary responsibility for teaching teenagers how to behave responsibly behind the wheel still falls on their parents. Researchers from the University of Michigan recently asked about 900 parents about their road safety concerns, and more than 40% of them said that teens traveling in groups, loud music and cellphone use were among their biggest fears.