Ask The Attorney: Traffic Collision Statistics Across the Country and in Los Angeles


Ask The Attorney: Traffic Collision Statistics Across the Country and in Los Angeles

Michael Rubinstein, Esq.

Traffic deaths across the country increased in 2016. That’s bad news for American drivers.

According to a report issued by the National Safety Council, 40,200 people died on American roads in 2016. This is the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 people were killed in one year. 2016 was the second year in a row that the trend increased from the prior year. In 2015, over 35,000 people were killed across the United States in vehicle crashes.


What is responsible for this alarming increase? Researchers believe that despite all the safety improvements and bells and whistles that are becoming standard in newer automobiles, the sad reality is that drivers are more distracted now than they ever have been in the past. Cell phone use continues to be a major factor causing distracted driving. Mobile apps like Facebook, Google Maps, and now Snapchat are responsible for collisions caused by distracted driving.


Other causes of traffic injuries and deaths are unbelted drivers and passengers, and driving while impaired. While self-driving cars could eventually eliminate or drastically reduce these statistics, as it stands now, we are a long way off from this goal. In March, Uber suspended its self-driving car program after a test vehicle crashed in Arizona.  It could be a while before this technology permeates the mainstream.


Smartphone usage also has other consequences. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, smartphones are directly responsible for rising auto insurance premiums. State Farm CEO Michael LaRocco describes smartphone usage as an epidemic. Many agree.  Insurers are facing more claims as a result of the increase in distracted drivers causing injuries and property damage in auto collisions across the country. The increase in claims is leading to decreased auto insurance profits, leading to higher monthly premiums.


Speeding is another factor responsible for the increase in automobile collisions.  This leads to another seriously concerning statistic.


Los Angeles Ranked Highest in U.S. for Speeding Deaths


The National Safety Council ranked Los Angeles number one for speed-related fatalities from 2010 through 2015. A high number of those killed were bicyclists and pedestrians.  The City has undertaken an ambitious goal to eliminate traffic fatalities of all types by 2025. We can all agree that this is not a statistic Los Angeles should be known for. Let’s hope the City succeeds in this goal. More information is available at:


Click to access VisionZero-LosAngeles.pdf


Please slow down!  You might save a life!


Wishing all a chag kasher v’sameach and safe travels!


Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles based personal injury and accident attorney. He may be reached by visiting, or by calling 213-293-6075.