Drivers in California often associate elderly drivers with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, but this idea turns out to be more complicated with statistical analysis. According to the numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36 million Americans at or over the age of 65 were licensed to drive in 2012. Of those, about 5,560 were killed and 214,000 injured in accidents. The rate of injury and death increases starting at age 70 and goes up dramatically for those 85 and older.
California residents may have heard that a Michigan man who was accused of killing a woman who was on his porch agreed to a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit on June 12. Some people had wondered if the incident resulted from a race issue, as the accused man was white and the deceased woman was black.
According to statistics reported by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving is on the rise in the United States. In an effort to educate drivers, AAA routinely conducts Traffic Safety Culture Index surveys. About 96 percent of those queried in this study believe that drowsy driving is inexcusable behavior on the roadways. However, AAA reports that since 2010, fatal crashes involving drowsy drivers are up from 16.5 percent to 21 percent in 2014.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that 916 people lost their lives on California's roads in 2012 in accidents involving excessive speed. Only Texas had a higher number of speeding-related deaths. According to the agency, speeding played a part in 30 percent of all fatal accidents around the country in that year, and the problem claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people that year.
The Auto Insurance Center has conducted research on every fatal car accident in the United States between 2009 and 2013 to determine the leading causes of car accident fatalities in each state as well as the District of Columbia. The data was obtained from records kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In California, fatal car accidents were most often caused by a driver who failed to make a proper turn. Failure to stay in the proper lane was the most common cause of fatal accidents in most parts of the country, however.