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California Car Accident Statistics 2024 – Traffic Fatalities CA

The unfortunate reality for California residents is that car accidents are a relatively common occurrence. Exercising awareness while behind the wheel is essential in ensuring the safety of yourself and others, but knowing the relevant car accident statistics and why they happen can be a vital asset to potentially avoiding or at least reducing the odds of these situations occurring as you travel throughout the Golden State. Given that California has the highest population of residents in the US, it also houses the highest number of eligible drivers and motor vehicles. This, in addition to high traffic density, busy highways, congested intersections, and tourism, are all important factors that increase the likelihood of a car accident occurring.

Volume of Car Accident Injuries and Fatalities in California

The sheer volume of car accident injuries and fatalities that occur in the state each year is much greater than those of other states. According to the most recently available U.S. Department of Transportation’s State Highway Safety Report, there were a total of 17,920 serious injuries sustained as a direct result of motor vehicle accidents in 2021, which was up 16.4% from the 15,392 injuries sustained from car accidents the previous year. The number of overall fatalities that occurred in 2021 as a result of these car accidents was 4,285, which showed an increase of 7.7% from the 3,980 fatalities in 2020. To put this into further perspective, the rate of serious injuries per million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was 5.77 in 2021, which represents a 12.5% increase from 5.13 in 2020. The rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was 1.38 in 2021, which represents about a 3.8% increase compared to the 1.33 VMT in 2020. As these serious injuries and fatalities continue to rise, it becomes all the more essential to stay alert at all times while behind the wheel in California.

Types of Car Accidents in California

Here is the breakdown of the most common types of car accidents recorded in California in 2022, from most to least common:
  • Rear-end Collisions
  • Broadside Collisions (T-bone)
  • Sideswipe Collisions
  • Head-on Collisions
  • Single-Vehicle Accidents

Causes of Car Accidents in California

Here are the most common causes of car accidents in California each year:
  • Distracted Driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to Yield
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
  • Drowsiness or falling asleep behind the wheel
Speeding and distracted driving account for roughly half of all car accidents each year in California. It’s also beneficial to know that although the majority of overall accidents occur in busier urban areas, more fatal car accidents happen on rural roads. That’s due to the increased number of speeding and drunk driving incidents that occur on rural roads.

Miscellaneous Car Accident Statistics

Below are miscellaneous car accident statistics regarding the US and the entire world:


Q: How Many Fatal Car Accidents Occur Each Year in California?

A: Unfortunately, California has one of the highest car accident rates in the country. In 2021, the number of overall fatalities that occurred as a result of car accidents was 4,285, which was an increase of about 7.7% from the 3,980 fatalities in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s State Highway Safety Report. That figure represents about 10% of the total fatalities from car accidents in the United States each year.

Q: What Is the Leading Cause of Fatalities in Traffic Collisions in California?

A: In both the state of California and across the United States, the leading cause of fatalities in traffic collisions is distracted driving. This includes anything that takes the driver’s attention away from driving, even for just a couple of seconds, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating while driving, etc. Speeding comes in a close second as the leading cause of fatal traffic collisions.

Q: What City in California Has the Most Car Accidents?

A: To no surprise, Los Angeles is the city with the most car accidents in California each year. With a population of more than 3.8 million residents, Los Angeles reports tens of thousands of car accidents each year, and its rate is much higher than that of the city with the second-highest number of accidents (San Diego). LA also normally reports the highest number of fatalities.

Q: Where Do Most Traffic Deaths Happen?

A: The majority of car accidents, injuries, and deaths occur in urban areas where there is more dense traffic present and a higher population of drivers. Busy highways and intersections are also some of the most common areas where car accidents happen due to the increase in speed, traffic congestion, pedestrians, and other factors.

Finding the Right Law Firm for Your Personal Injury Case

These statistics behind car accidents in California and across the United States can help better prepare you for the potential dangers that lie on the road. Californians face unique challenges on the road that stems from the state’s large population and high-density traffic areas, which are a result of tourism and other factors. At Duque & Price, our aim is to serve you and ensure that your constitutional rights are properly upheld as you attempt to navigate the complexities of the legal process during the aftermath of a car accident. Our goal is to always provide you with the highest standard of professional care possible while attempting to reach the most favorable outcome for your personal injury settlement. We can help you get back to focusing on what matters most: your recovery. Give us a call or request a consultation.

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