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Accident Information in Southern California Leads to Insurance Hikes

If you own a car in southern California, you may have noticed your car insurance premiums bump up in 2020. In this article we’ll look at publicly available accident information, as well as other potential reasons for a hike in premiums.

Insurance companies manage risk. When premiums (the cost of an insurance policy) rise, it means the actuaries (the people that set insurance rates) are predicting an increase in the number and cost of accidents in the year ahead.

The Increasing Costs of Automotive Accident Claims

New technology is making its way onto the road. In theory, this should make traveling by car or truck safer. The active safety systems onboard cars and trucks in 2020 include:

  • Forward Collision Warning: Cameras and other sensors monitor the roadway ahead of the vehicle. They may be able to alert the driver to a dangerous object entering the vehicle’s path.
  • Automatic Emergency Baking: When an object is detected, some new cars and trucks can apply the brake in addition to alerting the driver.
  • Lane Departure Warning: Cameras read the markings on the road. If the vehicle approaches or begins to cross the lane marker without an active turn signal, the driver is alerted.

Active safety systems may save lives and prevent accidents in southern California, but the additional technology is expensive to replace after an accident. Even a minor accident can mean that damaged wiring and sensors need to be replaced. 

Insurance companies are realizing that they need to be prepared to absorb the cost of replacing expensive technology after an accident.   

Car Accident Statistics

In addition to the expensive automotive technology that vehicles now have onboard, insurance companies are reporting that they’ve seen an increase in distracted driving accidents. These two factors, when combined with an increase in natural disasters, meant that 2018 (most recent data available) was not a good year for insurers. Many insurance companies paid out more than they took in according to the latest car accident statistics.

One of the challenges in compiling accurate accident information is that up to date information can be difficult to find. In many cases, accident statistics are not released on an annual basis. In some cases, the most recently published information is more than three or four years old.

It takes time to crunch the numbers and compile accurate reports. Therefore, some of the information contained in this article will be based on information from several years ago. We’ve done our best to provide accurate information based on what is publicly available at the time of writing.

Decrease in Distracted Driving Accident Fatalities

As mentioned above, many insurance publications have cited an increase in distracted driving accidents as one cause for an increase in 2020 auto insurance premiums. Our research does not support this. In fact, distracted driving accidents have decreased in recently released reports.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,166 people were killed in 2017 (most recent year available) by drivers who were engaged in activities that took their eyes off the road. These fatalities occurred in the 2,935 accidents caused by distracted driving that year. This highlights that one distracted driving accident kills more than one person, on average.  

The silver lining to this tragic accident information is that there was an 8% decrease in distracted driving fatalities from 2015. 3,447 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2015 (NHTSA).  

Car vs Person Accident Information

Unfortunately, many distracted driving accidents in Los Angeles involve pedestrians. Pedestrians almost always have the right of way, although we took a closer look at pedestrian vs car right of way in 2018. 

It’s sobering to hear a distracted driver testify on the stand that they only looked at their phone for a moment before ending someone else’s life.

The southern California personal injury experts at Glotzer & Leib have handled a variety of accident claims, including escalator accidents. But there are few cases that are more brutal to the human body than the impact of a two-ton vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. 

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The most current motorcycle accident information available is from 2017. It was published by the NHTSA in August of 2019. This highlights how long it takes to accurately compile and extract insights from public records.

5,172 motorcyclists were killed in an accident in 2017. 89,000 people were injured in a motorcycle accident during the same year. 

Free Consultation with a SoCal Personal Injury Lawyer

It is our sincere hope that you do not become part of the statistical data for car accidents in 2020. If you do find yourself injured in an accident, we encourage you to seek medical attention and then give our team a call.

We’ve helped accident victims hold the people responsible for their injuries accountable for more than 20 years. Our California personal injury case results show you that we know what we’re talking about. 

Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by sending us a message online or calling our office. We’re standing by 24/7 to help.

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