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Common causes of California traffic accidents


As of Christmas Day 2021, nearly 290 people were killed in traffic crashes, an increase of 21 percent from 2020 and 19 percent in 2019 in the same period. Close to 1,500 were left with severe injuries – defined as a victim needing to be transported from the crash site – representing a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

The cause of car crashes can be numerous. From deliberate recklessness to human error to defects in vehicles, the outcome remains the same, with Californians suffering serious injuries or losing their lives.

The most common causes of motor vehicle accidents include:

Driving under the influence

Ranking high for collision causes are people who operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether illegal or prescribed. Use or abuse of these substances diminishes focus on the road and reduces response time. The consequences are catastrophic and can change if not end lives.


Traveling at excessive speeds also dulls a driver’s reaction time and ability to respond to a sudden oncoming obstacle, the most like being another motor vehicle. Driving while exceeding speed limits is the most likely to result in catastrophic results following an impact.

Distracted driving

Hand-held devices and automobile technology can serve as significant distractions with laws in place that prohibit smartphone use. Multi-tasking often takes the form of eating and drinking while driving, which also takes eyes off the road. The mere act of changing the radio station can result in a collision that leaves all parties injured or worse.

Also making the list are vehicle defects and malfunctions, along with poor road conditions. Regardless of how an accident occurred, identifying the negligent party is paramount and requires the help of a personal injury attorney.