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2012 traffic data for California

California motorists may benefit from reviewing some of the most recent traffic safety data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the NHTSA, during 2012, California realized the second-highest motor-vehicle fatality total of any state in the country, trailing only Texas. The 2,857 people who died in California from car accidents during 2012 represents a 1.5 percent increase from 2011. In Texas, nearly 3,400 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents during 2012.

California also registered the second-highest number of motor vehicle fatalities related to impaired driving. The 802 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities that occurred during 2012 accounted for 28 percent of the state's total motor vehicle deaths. The number of alcohol-related fatalities increased by 3.6 percent in comparison to 2011. On a national scale, the NHTSA determined that more than 33,550 motor vehicles fatalities occurred during 2012. The 2012 total represents a 3.3 increase over the previous year.

Approximately 31 percent of the motor vehicle fatalities during 2012 were attributable to alcohol-impaired driving. The 2012 total of alcohol-impaired related deaths increased by 4.6 percent from 2011. Despite having the second highest totals in the country, all of California's metrics are lower than the national averages. For both 2011 and 2012, the majority of the accidents occurred during the second half of the year. In addition, the increasing rate of fatal crashes was twice as high in urban areas in comparison to rural locations.

People injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by someone else may be entitled to receive restitution to help account for ensuing damages. Families of deceased victims may also be entitled to compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Plaintiffs in these types of cases often seek restitution to help offset funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, loss of income and other economic hardships.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation , "2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview", October 17, 2014

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