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California Car Accidents on the Rise According to Most Recent Reports

California Car Accidents on the Rise According to Most Recent Reports

California - The Golden State is bucking national trends in car accident deaths. While the majority of the country recorded a drop in serious car accidents, California's rate reportedly is on the rise. Since the mid-1990s there has been a marked drop in deaths due to traffic related accidents. 2011 was the lowest rate of accidents in recent years, dropping about 2 percent from the previous rate in 2010.

Unfortunately, California saw a 2.6 percent increase in the fatal accident rate. There were 2,791 fatal car crashes in California. Since nationally the fatalities numbered 32,367, California accounts for about 8.6 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States last year alone. That's the second most traffic fatalities in the nation.

Perhaps that's partially due to the pedestrian fatality rate in Los Angeles. A recent report found that over 30 percent of all deaths related to car accidents in the city were due to hit-and-run pedestrian accidents. That's three times the national average for pedestrian accidents, which are decreasing nationally.

The only state that recorded more traffic fatalities than California was Texas. There were 3,023 deaths due to car accidents in 2011 in Texas. That's 9.3 percent of all traffic fatalities in the country. Granted, California and Texas are two of the largest and most populous states. Still, these two out of 50 states make up 18 percent of all traffic deaths.

Overall, 36 states saw a decrease in traffic fatalities. There were some types of road accidents that also bucked the downward trend. Both motorcyclist and bicyclist accident deaths are on the rise. Bicyclist death increased by about 8.7 percent while motorcyclists increased by 14 percent.

Further study to the motorcycle statistic reveals certain factors that account for the upward trend. Older Americans are picking up motorcycles as a later in life hobby and they are more vulnerable to injuries from a crash. Safety laws vary by state and may not require helmet use. Additionally, motorcyclists are more likely to speed, lose control and crash.

Partially related is an increase in the rate of accident related deaths both in motorcycle and other vehicle crashes. While discerning the root of this problem is trickier, it is an alarming fact that requires a solution. Drunk driving is dangerous and illegal, but somehow is on the rise. This is especially true of motorcyclists, but accounts for about a third of car accident deaths.