Thanks to improvements in vehicle design and safety features, car accidents in California and around the country kill far fewer people than they used to. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that the number of deaths caused by car crashes has gone down by over one-third in the last few years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that there were fewer highway fatalities in 2014 than there has ever been, and car-related fatalities are likely to continue going down.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered data about U.S. deaths in 2013 and found that the chances of a person dying in a car crash were one in 77. On the other hand, about 25 percent of Americans died from heart disease, and influenza and pneumonia killed one in every 46 people. The chances of a person dying from alcohol and drugs are 1 in 34, and the chances of dying from suicide are 1 in 63.
Certain states have much higher car accident fatality rates than others. In Montana, there are 23.3 car accident deaths per 100,000 people, which is more than twice the national car accident death rate of 10.7 per 100,000 people. Mississippi has the second highest rate of fatal car accidents with 22.8 fatal accidents per 100,000 people.
When a person is killed in a car crash that was due to the negligence of another motorist, the deceased victim's surviving family members may want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. During this difficult time, many families enlist the help of an attorney to ensure that all damages are properly valuated and the lawsuit is substantiated with evidence of the driver's negligence through such means as accident investigation reports and eyewitness testimony.