Safety awareness tends to decline the longer a person drives.
While confidence builds up over time, a driver may start to cut corners, drive faster, or take more risks. That’s why it’s so important to refresh our skills every August with National Traffic Safety Awareness Month.
The state of California recorded 216,366 traffic accidents in 2022. These collisions resulted in 3,854 deaths and 165,978 injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
A significant number of those collisions took place in Southern half of California. The city of Los Angeles, with nearly 4 million people, reported some 36,562 traffic accidents in 2022. That’s roughly double the second-place city of San Diego with 17,851 collisions the same year. In Northern California, the city of San Francisco came in third place for the state with 14,915 accidents, and Sacramento had 13,845 traffic accidents.
The purpose of Traffic Safety Awareness Month is to promote awareness and educate motorists about traffic safety through public awareness and educational programs. Additionally, there are activities and campaigns to raise public awareness about safe driving practices. The goal is to reduce traffic accidents, and preventing injuries and fatalities on the roads.
Motorists who simply use their turn signals before changing lanes, obey traffic signals and stop signs, drive at or below the speed limit, wear their seatbelt and stay focused on driving are much safer than the average driver.
Seat Belts Save Lives
Most drivers know that seat belts save lives, but no one knows it better than the first responders such as CHP officers and paramedics who arrive at the scene of collisions.
“It’s most often the person not wearing a seat belt who dies or is severely injured in a crash,” according to Attorney James Johnson, a personal injury attorney in Newport Beach.
Put on your seat belt before you start the car and make sure passengers have theirs on before you drive away.
Drivers should always be aware that a pedestrian could step into their path. This is especially true in areas of high pedestrian traffic. Indeed, pedestrian accidents are on the rise and the simple act of crossing at a marked intersection in a crosswalk instead of jaywalking is the best way to ensure a person’s safety. Regardless of public awareness campaigns, people will still dash across Pacific Coast Highway to get to the beach and drivers will still be distracted, drunk or unable to avoid hitting them. Still, these public reminders do save lives and even one life is worth saving.
Safe Driving Among Drunk Drivers
While safe drivers will not be able to avoid drunk or drugged drivers, a safe driving practice is to avoid traveling after 11 p.m. when most DUI crashes occurred. Also, motorists who wear seatbelts are more likely to survive a crash with a drunk driver and a safe practice is to avoid tailgating.
The impact of drunk driving cannot be ignored, but fortunately California is not even in the top 10 among states for the worst drunk drivers, according to a report in Forbes. The Golden State, with its population of 38,940,231 people, had 311 DUI arrests for every 100,000 people. Compare that to the top state for DUI arrests, South Dakota. The state has a population of just 913,000 people, but it had the highest rate of all states with a DUI arrest rate at 938.8 arrests per 100,000 people.
Still, despite a lower rate of DUI arrests, roughly 26 percent of California’s fatalities were the result of drunk driving, according to Resposibility.org.
Ultimately, the goal of Traffic Safety Awareness Month is to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on our roads, highways and freeways. Hopefully this will create a safer environment for all those who use the road including pedestrians and bicyclists.
Johnson Attorneys Group provides this information to help foster a safe environment on California roads and highways. We hope this information is helpful. We welcome your input and we are also here to help. Please contact us if you have anything to add or would like to speak with Attorney James Johnson about a potential case. Our law firm is a proud, longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
- Fatal San Diego Pedestrian Accident Mira Mesa Boulevard - September 21, 2023
- Fatal Crash on Antelope Road and Don Julio Boulevard; 2 Injured - September 21, 2023
- Multi-Vehicle Bakersfield Accident Highway 99, Olive Drive - September 21, 2023