In 2017, California recorded a slight dip in the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents. That year, 3,602 accident fatalities were recorded statewide compared to 3,837 in 2016. However, when looking at the number of deaths that resulted from accidents involving tractor-trailers or other large trucks, the story is different. The number of truck accident deaths in 2017 rose for the fourth consecutive year.
People who live in California and particularly in the Bay Area have likely seen a self-driving car on the road at some point in the past few years as more of more of these vehicles are being deployed largely for testing purposes. However, this testing alone has garnered some criticism as opponents highlight the potential safety issues with doing so.
According to data collected and reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicular fatalities in accidents involving large commercial trucks have increased every single year from 2013 to 2017 in the state of California. In 2013, there were 259 deaths in large truck collisions. That was followed by 301 and 305 deaths in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Another 354 people were killed in truck crashes in 2016. Finally, in 2017, 361 lives were lost on California roads and highways in truck accidents.
Residents in California have good reason to be concerned about the problems associated with drunk driving. Despite the fact that there has been widespread education about how alcohol impairs a person's judgment over the past few decades, drivers refuse to give up their keys even when they know they will be drinking. Every year, numerous lives are lost at the hands of drunk drivers.
Residents in California know that they enjoy relatively mild temperatures and weather all year long. This makes it more pleasant to be out on foot more regularly than in other parts of the country. However, there can be a serious risk of being hit by vehicles for pedestrians even in daylight hours as well as when the sun has gone down.
As people in California enjoy the holiday season, attention should be turned to the ongoing problems associated with drunk driving. This time of year tends to see an increase in the number of parties or other gatherings at which alcohol is served, thereby logically increasing the potential number of impaired drivers on the road. Despite increasingly tough laws and awareness campaigns, many people will simply not make a safe choice and avoid driving after drinking.
Those driving on San Jose's roads likely strive to be mindful of the other motorists around them, with the expectation that the same courtesy will be returned to them. Yet people have no control over the actions of others, and the chance of encountering a reckless or incompetent driver is ever-present. Teen drivers (whose skills are likely still relatively green) might pose a particular threat. While they need opportunities to gain experience behind the wheel, their parents or guardians are expected to try and ensure that experience is attained without posing a risk to others. If and when that expectation is not met, one might wonder if liability would then fall to said parents rather than their teens.