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OTS statistics show dangers of California roads

The California Office of Traffic Safety has an interesting set of data about accidents that occurred in the state. Though the figures are from 2013 and 2014, they still give us a glimpse at the ways in which people choose to operate their vehicle, and what state of mind they are in when they get behind the wheel of a car.

According to the data, traffic fatalities only slightly decreased from 2013 to 2014, dropping from 3,107 to 3,074. Also, fatalities that involved a driver who was impaired by alcohol effectively remained the same, with only one fewer person dying in 2014 due to a drunk driver than in 2013 (883 deaths to 882).

Maybe the most amazing statistic from this data is that 32 percent of all drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents in the state of California in 2013 tested positive for legal or illegal drugs. That’s nearly one-third of drivers, and it shines a light on a problem that often goes under the radar. Cellphone use while driving and drinking and driving headline these negligent driving behaviors — but drug use while driving often takes a back seat.

Drug use, in this context, can mean using a potent cough syrup or a prescription drug — substances that are legal, but that can still have debilitating effects on our ability to react out on the road. It doesn’t necessarily mean a drug addict who simply can’t get through the day without getting his or her “fix.” Drugged driving is a real and terrifying problem, and for the victims of drugged driving accidents, they should consult with an attorney if they decide to pursue legal action against such a reckless driver.

Source: California Office of Traffic Safety, “Quick Facts,” Accessed Aug. 30, 2016