Welcome to the California Office of Traffic safety
Governor Schwarzenegger

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California Traffic Safety Report Card

Overall

 

In 2009, California’s traffic fatalities decreased 10.3% (3,434 vs 3,081) - reaching their lowest level since the federal government began recording traffic fatalities in 1975. **

California’s 2008 Mileage Death Rate (MDR) - fatalities per 100 million miles traveled (100 Million VMT) is 1.05, much lower than the national MDR of 1.25. Of the 5 largest states in terms of total traffic fatalities, (CA, FL, TX, GA, & NC), California has the best rate.**

Alcohol

 

Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities (fatalities in crashes involving a least one driver or motorcycle operator with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater) decreased 7.6% from 1,025 in 2008 to 950 in 2009. Since 2005, alcohol impaired fatalities have dropped a staggering 26.8%**

California’s alcohol-impaired driving fatality rate dropped from 0.34 in 2007 to 0.31 in 2008. California’s rate is much better than the national average of 0.40. Of the five largest states in terms of total traffic fatalities, (CA, FL, TX, GA, & NC), California has the best rate.**

In 2009, 31% of all traffic fatalities were alcohol impaired driving fatalities (includes all fatalities involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or greater). California is better than the national average of 32%.**

Statewide DUI arrests decreased 3% from 214,811 in 2008 to 208,531 in 2009.

California’s statewide DUI conviction rate for 2007 is 79%. DMV Annual DUI MIS Report - January 2009

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Occupant Protection

 

California’s 2010 seat belt usage rate is 96.2% - up from 95.3% in 2009. NHTSA estimates that 1,365 Californian lives were saved at the current seat belt use rate. California’s 96.2% seat belt use rate is much higher than the national average of 84%.

In California, the percent of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities (all seat positions) decreased from 38% in 2008 to 36% in 2009.  NHTSA estimates that about half or 319 of the 639 known unrestrained fatalities would be alive today had they simply buckled up.**

California’s child safety seat usage rate reached a record high of 95.4% in 2010, up from 94% in 2009. 

Passenger vehicle occupant fatalities age 0-8 increased 36% from 42 in 2008 to 65 in 2009.**

Passenger vehicle occupant fatalities age 4 and under increased 27% from 25 in 2008 to 34 in 2009.**

Passenger vehicle occupant fatalities (age 0-8) increased 35.4 percent from 42 in 2008 to 65 in 2009.**

Teen Safety

 

Teen seat belt use increased from 88.9% in 2008 to 91.1% in 2009. San Bernardino County recorded the lowest seat belt use rate (79.4%), while Santa Barbara County had the highest teen seat belt use rate at 97.4%.

Drivers age 20 or younger involved in fatal crashes dropped 19% from 527 in 2008 to 429 in 2009.**

In 2008, the percent of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant “teenaged” fatalities was 37% - of the 5 largest states in terms of total traffic fatalities, (CA, FL, TX, GA, & NC), California has the best rate. Since restraints are about 50% effective in preventing a fatality, NHTSA estimates that 42 dead California teens would be alive today had they simply buckled up.**

Teen driver fatalities (age 16-19) decreased 5% from 162 in 2007 to 154 in 2008. Males make up 77% of teen driver fatalities. Since 2005, teen driver fatalities have dropped 30%.**

Teen motor vehicle fatalities (age16-19) decreased 16% from 345 in 2007 to 290 in 2008. Since 2005, teen motor vehicle fatalities have dropped 34%.**

Motorcycle Safety

 

Motorcycle fatalities have decreased from 560 in 2008 to 394 in 2009.** Motorcycle fatalities saw their first drop since 1998, marking the end to an 11 year, 175% increase.

Total motorcycle registrations decreased 2% from 824,244 in 2008 to 809,129 in 2009. (DMV)
In 2008, the under age 20 age group had the largest increase in motorcycle fatalities (up 57% from 13 in 2007 to 30 in 2008 with the second highest increase seen in the over age 59 age group which increased 44% percent from 32 in 2007 to 57 in 2008.**

In 2009, 32% of motorcycle operators killed were not properly licensed – down from 7% in 2008.**

Between 2002-08, 60% of motorcycle operators killed under age 25 were unlicensed.**

Of the 429 motorcyclists killed, at least 10% (46) were unhelmeted. Since helmets are about 39% effective in preventing fatalities, NHTSA estimates that 18 of the 46 unhelmeted motorcyclists killed would have survived had they worn a helmet.**

In 2008, 70% of motorcycle operators killed were at fault and 58% of motorcycle operators injured were at fault.*
The percent of motorcycle operators killed with a BAC =.08+ decreased from 27% in 2008 to 23% in 2009.**

Super sport motorcycles, defined as consumer versions of the motorcycles used by factory racing teams, account for 14% of the registered motorcycles in California, yet the 211 super sport drivers and passengers killed in 2008 accounted for 38% of the 560  motorcyclists killed in California.**

Between 2002-08, 44% of Super Sport motorcycles that were fatally crashed were less than a year old, compared to 37% Other Sport, 28% Cruiser, and, 34% Touring motorcycles.**

Between 2002-08, 44% of Super Sport riders killed were not properly licensed, compared to 32% Other Sport, 24% Cruisers and 19% Touring motorcycles.**

Between 2002-08, 86% of Super Sport motorcycle fatal crashes were “speed related”, compared to 57% Other Sport, 40% Cruisers, and 39% Touring motorcycles.**

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

 

Pedestrian fatalities dropped 10% from 620 in 2008 to 563 in 2009.** This is the lowest annual tally of pedestrian fatalities since the federal government began recording fatality statistics in 1975.

Pedestrian fatalities age 65 and older increased 15% from 123 in 2008 to 144 in 2009.** 

Bicycle fatalities decreased 10% from 109 in 2008 to 99 in 2009.**

Bicycle fatalities decreased 9.2 percent from 109 in 2008 to 99 in 2009 and 2010 – lowest since 1984.**

Previous Years

 

*Data Source – Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS)
**Data Source – Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)