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Leading causes of car accidents in California

The leading causes of car accidents in California include speeding, improper turning and driving under the influence.

Car accidents can be devastating experiences for those involved. Property damage, alone, may be time-consuming and lead to emotional and financial stress. When these accidents result in personal injuries, the associated problems are intensified.

Data from the California Highway Patrol highlights the extent of the problem. During 2012 (the latest year for which statistics are available), there were over 160,000 injuries or fatalities from car accidents in California. Specifically, nearly 3,000 car accidents led to the death of a driver, passenger or pedestrian.

Problems that adversely affect hundreds of thousands of people are worth further examination. Specifically, it is important to understand the sources of these problems. There are multiple sources of car accidents in California, which may be helpful for drivers and those exposed to their driving to be aware of.

  • Speeding- According to the CHP, speeding contributes to a strong majority of car accidents in California. The reason why this might be the case is intuitive. The faster people drive, the less reaction time they have when something unexpected happens. Less reaction time means a smaller margin for error. The joint effect of people who are prone to error and a small margin for error is a high rate of car accidents.
  • Improper turning and merging- Improper turning is another leading source of car accidents in the state. Driving, in general, requires vigilance. This especially the case when maneuvering in and out of lanes and making turns. When these actions are performed carelessly, they increase the risk of an accident. Another dimension of this behavior is drifting from lane to lane. While clearly marked, these lines rely on disciplined driving from everyone on the road.
  • Driving under the influence- The risk of car accidents is high enough when drivers’ cognitive faculties are intact. Impairing those faculties through excessive consumption of alcohol amplifies dangers on the road. Despite potentially large fines and jail time, let alone the risk of harming others, driving under the influence remains prominent.
  • Distracted driving- Similar to driving under the influence of alcohol, distracted driving significantly increases the risk of car accidents. Advances in consumer technology, particularly smart phones, constantly tempt drivers with distraction. Technology, as well as distractions such as food, music and passengers, represents another leading cause of accidents in California.

Compensation may be available

Sustaining an injury from a car accident may lead to damages, such as medical costs, emotional trauma or lost wages. Compensation may be available for these damages through the justice system. For this reason, victims of car accidents should consult with an Oakland personal injury attorney.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury

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