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California's Traffic Safety Program Summary – 2007

Overall

 

In 2006, 4,195 people died and 277,373 people were injured in California traffic collisions.*

California’s 2006 Mileage Death Rate (MDR) - fatalities per 100 million miles traveled (100 Million VMT) is 1.28, much lower than the national MDR of 1.41. Of the 5 largest states in terms of total traffic fatalities, (CA, FL, TX, GA, and NC), California has the lowest rate. **

Alcohol

 

Persons killed in alcohol involved collisions increased marginally from 1,769 in 2005 to 1,779 in 2006.** California’s 2006 Alcohol Related (AR) Fatality Rate of 0.54 (alcohol related fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled -VMT) is much better than the national rate of 0.59. Of the five largest states in terms of total traffic fatalities, (CA, FL, TX, GA, and NC), California has the lowest rate. **

Fatalities in crashes involving a least one driver or motorcycle operators with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater decreased from 1,298 in 2005 to 1,276 in 2006. California’s 2006 fatality rate per 100 VMT in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater is 0.39, much better than the national average of 0.45. Of the five largest states in terms of total traffic fatalities, (CA, FL, TX, GA, and NC), California has the lowest rate.**

Occupant Protection

 

California’s 2007 seat belt usage rate is 94.6%, which is significantly better than the national average of 81%. This is up from 93.4% in 2006 and represents 365,750 more Californians buckling up. California’s seat belt use rate (94.6%) is the fourth best in the nation – behind Hawaii (97.6%), Washington (96.4%), and Oregon (95.4%).

In California, the percent of restrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities increased from 55.4% in 2005 to 56.4% in 2006, much better than the national average of 41.3%. Further, California was third best in the nation, with only the small states of Alaska and Oregon higher. ** In 2006, about half, 458, of the 917 known unrestrained fatalities would be alive today had they simply buckled up.

California’s 2007 child safety seat usage rate is 87.7% - dropping slightly from 87.8% in 2006.

Teen Safety

 

Teen fatalities decreased 6.7% from 527 in 2005 to 492 in 2006 – the lowest level since 2001.**

In 2006, the percent of restrained passenger vehicle occupant “teenaged” fatalities was 51.8% in 2006. Since restraints are about 50% effective in preventing a fatality, NHTSA estimates that 75 dead teens would be alive today had they simply buckled up. Only Oregon has a higher restraint use. Teen use in fatalities is less that the restraint use of all California fatalities at 56.4%.**

California’s 2007 teen seat belt usage rate is 88.9% - down marginally from 90.8% in 2006

Motorcycle Safety

 

Motorcycle fatalities continued to spiral upward; from 469 in 2005 to 506 in 2006.**

Motorcycle fatalities have increased each year since 1998, when there were 204 fatalities

In 2006, motorcycle operators killed under age 35 decreased 8.6%, while over age 35 increased 16.4%. **

36.5% of motorcycle operators killed were not properly licensed. **

Of the 506 motorcyclists killed, 15% (76) were unhelmeted. NHTSA estimates at least 30 of the 76 unhelmeted motorcyclists killed would have survived had they worn a helmet.**

Pedestrian Safety

 

In 2006, the total number of pedestrian fatalities was 735 – down from 748 in 2005.*

Previous Years

 

 

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

Page Updated 3/25/08