Whether you’re driving a passenger car, a motorcycle, or simply walking on the sidewalk, individuals don’t have much control over whether they will be involved in a deadly car accident. Drivers who are distracted, drunk, or disobeying street laws, too frequently lose control of their vehicles and end the lives of other innocent drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Though it’s always difficult to avoid dangerous drivers, we created pie graphs based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System that show the roads to be most dangerous for motorcyclists and pedestrians both here in California and nationwide.
For the most part, fatality statistics stay largely consistent with the popularity of vehicle type. Passenger cars, for example, make up the vast majority of traffic fatalities. But passenger vehicles also have the benefit of protecting people with a metal and glass frame. This explains the disproportionately high number of motorcycle deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that per mile traveled, motorcycle deaths are 37 times more frequent than passenger vehicle deaths. That pedestrians make up nearly 20 percent of California accident fatalities is surprising since although they are everywhere, they rarely cause fatal accidents.
In 2009, the last year with reliable information, there were 33,800 car accident fatalities nationwide. Although it was the best year on record since 1950 and nearly 18 percent lower than the previous year, it’s clear that cities, states, and the federal government must do more to cut down on serious car accidents to save the lives of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this reason, a group of senators have proposed a measure designed to reduce car accident fatalities 50 percent by 2050. “What’s needed is a sound, national blueprint for a 21st century system that’s safe, efficient, and improves the mobility of people and American-made goods,” said Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, one of the bill’s sponsors.
Remember to stay safe via all modes of transportation here in California and across the country. And take a look at our interactive pie graph showing car accident fatalities by vehicle type here in California: