This month, California injury lawyers were encouraged to note that the rate of highway accident deaths across the country had dropped substantially since 2008. In fact, the death rate in 2009 has dropped by 9% from the previous year.

That decline has come because of a number of factors. More Californians are wearing seatbelts than ever before.  Increased seatbelt usage is saving lives, and contributing to a decline in fatality rates. Besides, vehicles are safer than they used to be. Automakers are investing in more advanced safety features that don’t just keep occupants safer in the event of a collision, but can also prevent accidents in the first place. Features like electronic stability control systems & side airbags are becoming standard features on more and more numbers of vehicles. No longer is it expensive to drive a safe car. No longer is it even necessary that you have to be in a larger car to be safer. Smaller, less expensive models also come with these features.

The biggest factor contributing to the lower numbers of people dying in highway accidents is the fact that there are fewer alcohol-related accidents now. Stronger law enforcement activities have contributed to fewer numbers of people ready to drive under the influence. A drunk driving conviction can mean arrests, and charges filed against you. In a few counties in California that are currently under a pilot program, drunk driving offenders can have their vehicles fitted with an ignition control device that prevents the car from starting if a breathalyzer device detects alcohol on your breath. Besides, a drunk driving conviction can also mean license suspensions and loss of driving privileges. All this is contributing to a decline in the number of drunk driving accidents and highway fatality rates.