As you and other Californians watch the rapid pace at which companies are attempting to make fully autonomous cars a reality on our roads, you might appreciate the potential safety improvement these vehicles are said to provide. Certainly taking human decision-making out of the driving equation may be helpful one day. But, in the meantime, it is humans who have all the control when behind the wheel. Sadly, this responsibility is not taken seriously enough as more people continue to die in traffic accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,623 fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in California last year alone. Of those, 1,059 involved alcohol. Both of those numbers represent a significant jump over prior years. In 2015, a total of 3,387 lives were lost in the state and alcohol was a factor in 911 of those deaths. The previous year, 876 drunk driving deaths occurred out of a total 3,102 deaths in crashes.

In Kern County, a total of 111 people died in car wrecks in 2014 and 138 in 2015. Last year that number rose to 143. Over those three years combined, the county saw 112 people die in vehicular accidents in which alcohol was said to be involved in some form. Clearly many drivers are not making safe or wise choices.

If you would like to learn more about how you or someone you know might be able to get help after the unnecessary loss of a loved one in an accident, please feel free to visit the survivor’s compensation page of our California personal injury and wrongful death website.