Blame it on a better economy, smart phones or an increase of motorcycles and bicycles on the road. Whatever the reasons, California has seen a dramatic increase in traffic related deaths over the past 5 years. And, the trend is only expected to rise.
This news comes from a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As reported by the Sacramento Bee, their findings show that traffic related deaths jumped almost 10 percent nationwide during the first quarter of this year. In California, officials have seen accidents increase almost 13 percent on the state’s roads. Since 2010, deaths along California highways and roads have jumped from a record low of 2, 739 to 3,104 in 2013.
Officials believe there may be many factors that may have something to do with it. The Office of Traffic Safety stated, “Realistically, when the economy started getting better, all indications from history told us there would be an upswing in fatalities.” Caltrans reports drivers in the Sacramento area have increased their driving mileage by nearly 27 percent since 2009. The California Highway Patrol suggests that smart phones may also be playing a much larger role than reported. The Office of Traffic Safety agrees. “With a half-million apps, people practically run their lives off their cellphones. They check their stocks. They GPS. They play Candy Crush. They are watching movies.”
State lawmakers outlawed the use of hand-held devices in 2007. But, a statewide survey conducted in 2015 indicated that 10 percent of all California drivers use their smart phones while behind the wheel. Many officials believe this percentage does not reflect the reality of the situation and is considerably higher than reported.
Whatever the case may be, if you have been involved in an auto accident, you may have grounds to pursue legal action. This is especially true if the person driving was distracted at the time of the accident.
For more information on auto accident claims, contact the Demas Law Group, P.C., and schedule a free consultation today.