California Car Accidents: Facts and Statistics to Know

In 2022, more than 3,900 people were killed in car accidents in California. Car accidents are common in the state, and many of them lead to fatalities.

If you want to stay safe when driving in California, it can be helpful to know about some of the current car accident statistics in the state. Understanding California car accidents and their causes can help you avoid having accidents yourself.

In this article, we’ll list a few important car crash stats and facts that you should know.

Injuries and Deaths in California Car Accidents

In 2022, just over 3,900 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. 2022 was slightly less deadly than the previous year. In 2021, there were 4,285 traffic fatalities during the course of the year.

Although 3,900 people died from fatal car accidents in 2022, many others were injured. Over 277,000 people suffered injuries as a result of getting into a California car accident in 2022.

Car Accident Trends

Although California roads remain treacherous, the car accident rate is trending downward as time goes by.

In 2009, there were 562,000 car crashes, while in 2018, there were only 464,000 car crashes. Between 2009 and 2018, the number of car accidents in California declined by 17%.

Better safety features in vehicles as well as improved safety laws are likely to have contributed to the lower number of accidents.

While the number of car crashes in California has declined, there is still a large number of accidents each year. It’s important to remain vigilant to protect yourself while on the road.

You should also be sure to take the right approach after an accident occurs. If you experience a multi car accident or any other type of accident, it can be well worth hiring a car accident attorney.

Chances of Experiencing a Fatal Car Crash

Out of all of the car crashes that occur in the state of California, about 8% of them lead to fatalities.

Many different kinds of car crashes could potentially lead to the death of a driver or passenger, so it’s important to be careful at all times when on the road. There are many factors that help determine whether a crash leads to property damage, injuries, or death.

The type of car crash, a vehicle’s condition, safety features of a vehicle, road conditions, the health of the passengers, and many more factors will play a part in how extensive the damage to the vehicles and the passengers is.

Common Causes of California Auto Accidents

annual car accidents

So what are the common causes of road accidents in California? Here are some of the main causes of car accidents in the state.

Distracted Driving

The top-reported cause of car accidents in the United States is distracted driving. When someone is on their phone, fumbling around with belongings, or distracted by something else, an accident is more likely to occur.

In many cases, distracted driving doesn’t just lead to property damage or a car accident injury, but leads to a fatal accident instead.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is also a big cause of accidents in California and in the entire country.

When inebriated, a person is more likely to get into accidents. As a result, they could cause significant damage to a vehicle, to property, or to other drivers. Driving under the influence is also illegal and can lead to serious fines, jail time, and a suspension of your driver’s license.

Moving Violations

Moving violations also cause a lot of California car accidents as well.

A moving violation is anything that ends up disrupting traffic and is risky for other drivers on the road. This could include running red lights or making illegal turns, for example.

Moving violations cause many car crashes each year and are a big problem in the state of California.


Going beyond the set speed limit is also a common cause of accidents as well. When drivers speed, they’re less likely to be able to react in time if something unexpected happens.

Going too fast on the road can lead to a driver getting into an accident and could cause serious injuries or death.

Reducing Your Risk

There are many things that you can do to improve your chances of having car accidents and experiencing injuries or death in California. Here are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of having a car accident and getting injured.

Wear a Seatbelt

You should be sure to wear a seatbelt at all times, both when in the driver’s seat and when riding as a passenger. Ensure that your seatbelt is secured properly and that it’s placed across the lap, the upper torso, and the shoulder.

Eliminate Distracted Driving

Make sure that you avoid distracted driving at all costs. Don’t use a smartphone or handheld device when driving and avoid eating or taking other actions that could distract you from what you’re doing.

Focus on the road as much as possible when driving and avoid doing other tasks at the same time.

Drive in the Right Condition

Remember that driving under the influence poses a big risk to yourself and to others.

Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to this, avoid driving when tired or sleepy as well.

Follow Driving Laws

You should be sure to follow all posted speed limits and should pay attention to other signs and markings on the road as well. Be sure that you follow safe driving practices and focus on being a defensive driver rather than an aggressive driver.

Pay Attention to Blind Spots

Many accidents occur due to drivers not paying attention to their blind spots as well as the blind spots of others.

Be sure to pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid making decisions without having a clear understanding of what’s happening around your vehicle.

Avoiding California Car Accidents

If you want to avoid California car accidents, be sure that you drive as safely as possible and follow all of the rules of the road. Understanding the major causes of car accidents in California can help you avoid making the same mistakes.

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