California car accident statistics: It’s not all golden in the Golden State

Categories: Personal Injury

If you’re one of the many who’ve been injured in a car accident in the Golden State, you could have a claim for your damages based on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your accident and the resulting injuries. 

A California car accident lawyer from Ernst Law Group can make the difference between recovering only a portion of the costs and damages linked to your car accident and receiving complete compensation that fully covers you into the future. 

Call (805) 541-0300 or contact us online if you’ve been injured in a car accident to learn how we can help you. 

Continue reading to learn more about the startling collision statistics in California, why some drivers are more at risk than others, and about the particular times of day that might increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

California car accident statistics 

According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), a system which collects and processes data from collisions, in 2019,


(H3) Certain groups and ages have a higher risk of traffic fatality

CHP’s 2019 SWITRS report also showed that in 2019, male drivers were at-fault in fatal accidents 361% more often than females, and that they were at fault 164% more than females in injury accidents.

california car statistics at faultThe reports also indicate that there’s a drastic difference between the at-fault driver’s age in fatal and injury crashes between males and females. Here’s a look at the ten ages or age groups that were found to be at-fault most often. 

Fatal Crashes
Age/Age Range Males At-Fault Females At-Fault
70-74 59 25
65-69 75 28
60-64 93 30
29 57 13
28 63 16
26 57 13
25 72 21
22 69 7
21 65 27
20 60 16


Injury Crashes
Age/Age Range Males At-Fault Females At-Fault
65-69 3,359 2,091
60-64 4,765 2,664
27 2,925 1,720
25 2,971 1,864
24 2,941 1,889
23 3,105 1,887
22 3,088 1,978
21 3,089 1,904
20 2,881 1,818
19 2,951 1,847

Time of day with the highest risk of traffic fatalities 

The 2019 SWITRS report indicated that for injury accidents, nearly twice as many collisions happened in the PM hours compared to the AM hours. Predictably, the most accidents-per-hour occurred during prime commuting times, with the most happening on Fridays:

  • 9,939 accidents between 8:00am and 8:59am followed very closely by 7:00am-7:59am with 9,664 collisions 
  • 15,156 occurring between 5:00pm and 5:59pm
  • 30,086 injury accidents on Fridays compared to 26,228 on Mondays.

Fatal crashes follow a different pattern with 70% of them occurring in the AM hours, and:

  • 159 between 5:00am and 5:59am
  • 216 between 9:00pm and 9:59pm
  • 570 fatal accidents on Saturdays, followed by Fridays with 543, and 535 on Sundays.

Factors behind the increase in fatal crashes at night and early morning 

Driver attentiveness and responsibility are what support a safe driving environment at any time of day. However, during commuting times drivers might be more likely to be distracted thinking about work or might even be handling work calls, texts, and emails while they drive–distracted driving can lead to more accidents. Accidents on the weekends, especially in the late hours, are more likely to be alcohol-related, which was the highest-frequency cause of fatal accidents in 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Pedestrian violations were another high cause of fatal accidents, so special attention should be paid to areas with pedestrian traffic.

In 2019, traveling at unsafe speeds was the most frequent cause of injury accidents (59,399), followed by automobile right-of-way violations with 30,006 accidents.

Reach out to a California car accident lawyer from Ernst Law Group

The best way to ensure your safety on the road is to be vigilant and abide by all traffic and safety laws. If you followed the rules of the road but were injured by someone else’s failure to heed that advice, connect with a California car accident lawyer from Ernst Law Group to get started on your claim today. 

Contact us online or call us today at (805) 541-0300 to schedule your free consultation.