Many people are killed or seriously injured in California car accidents every year. Though the number of annual traffic fatalities in the U.S. has declined for years, it went up in the first part of 2015. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, there were 9.3 percent more traffic fatalities in the first nine months of 2015 than there were in the comparable period in 2014.
A report from the NHTSA showed that there were over 26,000 car accident deaths during the first nine months of 2015. In the first nine months of 2014, there were 23,796 car accident deaths. Though all regions in the U.S. saw increases in traffic fatalities, the regional increases varied greatly during the time periods that were studied. In the South Central and mid-Atlantic states, there was a 2 percent increase while the Southeast saw a 16 percent increase and the Northwest saw a 20 percent increase.
The rise in traffic fatalities follows more than a decade of steady declines. From 2000 to 2014, the number of car accident deaths declined by over 22 percent. The NHTSA said that the 2015 increase is a sign that more should be done to reduce dangerous behaviors like drunk driving and the failure of some drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts.
According to the NHTSA, 94 percent of car accidents are caused by human factors. When a person's negligent or reckless behavior leads to the death of another in a motor vehicle accident, the at-fault party may be responsible for the losses incurred by the decedent's survivors. An attorney can often assist family members of a fatal car crash victim in pursuing damages under a wrongful death lawsuit.