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The Top Causes of Auto Accident Deaths

In California, auto accidents are a leading cause of death despite advances in vehicle safety and awareness campaigns. Understanding these fatal incidents' root causes can influence safer driving habits and decrease road fatalities. At Phillips & Associates, we're committed to shedding light on this issue. Here, we break down the top causes backed by recent California statistics.

1. Distracted Driving

In today's digital age, distractions are just a touch away. Whether it's a buzzing smartphone or an intricate GPS system, any diversion can have dire consequences on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019, 3,142 lives were tragically cut short nationwide due to distracted driving incidents.

2. Drunk Driving

The perils of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are well-documented. Regrettably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 10,142 individuals lost their lives in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2019 across the U.S. Specifically, in California, over 1,000 of these fatalities were attributed to alcohol-impaired driving.

3. Speeding

Driving at excessive speeds not only diminishes the driver's ability to navigate safely but also amplifies the potential for harm. According to NHTSA, speeding was implicated in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2019. In California, speeding remains a significant concern, often ranking as a top contributor to roadway deaths.

4. Reckless Driving

Reckless behaviors, from aggressive tailgating to ignoring traffic signals, endanger everyone on the road. Sadly, California has witnessed a rising trend in accidents due to such behavior, emphasizing the need for adherence to traffic rules.

5. Weather Conditions

Despite California's reputation for sunny skies, adverse weather, including rain, fog, and occasional icy conditions, can still pose threats. A notable number of accidents in the state are due to drivers not adapting to these conditions.

6. Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

Defying traffic signals is a perilous gamble. Such transgressions often result in severe accidents. California's intersections, in particular, have seen numerous tragedies stemming from this cause.

7. Night Driving

Darkness brings its own set of challenges, with limited visibility increasing risks on the road. Both national and California data indicate a spike in accident rates during nighttime hours.


While these statistics are disheartening, they serve as a clear reminder of the importance of increased road safety. As drivers, we bear the responsibility of safeguarding ourselves and our fellow road users.

If you or a loved one have been affected by an auto accident, understanding its cause is the first step towards justice. At Phillips & Associates, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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