Vehicular fatalities on the rise

In California and across the nation, the number of people dying in motor vehicle accidents is on the rise.

Among the many things that California is known for is its busy and congested freeways. Sadly, traffic accidents are a part of the reality of life. However, that is true not just in California but around the country. Also true in the state as well as the nation is the fact that the number of people dying in these traffic accidents is increasing.

What is the vehicular fatality trend in the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released traffic fatality data for the first nine months of 2016 and compared that data to previous years.

Going back to 2006, there were 31,895 people killed in accidents between January and September across the country. That number declined every year until 2012 when fatalities increased 5.7 percent over the prior year. Two more years of declines followed but the two most recent years saw significant jumps.

In 2015, the number of deaths in the first three quarters was 8.3 percent higher than in 2014. In 2016, another eight-percent increase was seen. The 27,875 people killed in 2016 represented the most since 2007.

What is the vehicular fatality trend in California?

Information about the state's fatalities in 2016 is not yet available from the NHTSA but in looking at the five-year period from 2011 to 2015, a tragic reality is seen. In 2011, there were 2,816 fatalities statewide. That rose to 2,966 in 2012 and then to 3,107 in 2013. A slight drop to 3,102 occurred in 2014 followed by a jump to 3,176 in 2015.

In addition to a jump in overall deaths between 2014 and 2015, the number of pedestrians killed and the number of people who died in crashes involving alcohol in 2015 also rose over 2014.

What are some examples recent crashes?

NBC Los Angeles reported on the death of a 52-year-old rideshare driver in a hit-and-run accidents. The rideshare driver's passenger was left in critical condition after the crash. The at-fault driver has been located and now faces felony charges.

Also recently, video footage shows a minivan speeding through a red light and a fence before finally landing on the 101 freeway. ABC7 notes that two women in the van died and a man in a car on the freeway was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

In both situations, investigations were launched to determine whether alcohol or drugs may have been involved.

What should I do if I am involved in an accident?

Any time a California resident is involved in a crash, a consultation with an attorney is recommended. Many things can complicate the process of seeking compensation. Working with a professional who is experienced in these matters may help make the process easier.