The Sacramento region sees fewer traffic fatalities now than it did twenty years ago, even though its population has grown by hundreds of thousands of residents, new federal statistics show.
About 170 people died in car wrecks in 2014, down about 11 percent from 2013, according to a Bee review of new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
That gave the region a traffic fatality rate of roughly 7.6 per 100,000 residents, compared to a rate of 13 deaths per 100,000 residents in 1994.
The region has not seen more than 200 traffic deaths in a single year since 2007.
Traffic fatalities have generally fallen during the last few decades across the state and nation. Experts credit increased seatbelt usage, less drunk driving and more children strapped into safety seats for the decline. In addition, young drivers, who tend to get in car accidents at higher rates, are waiting longer to get their licenses due to more stringent laws.
In the Sacramento region between 2012 and 2014:
--Almost one-fifth of those killed in traffic accidents were between 17 and 24.
--Nearly three-quarters of those killed were men.
--About 34 percent of fatalities involved alcohol.
--About 31 percent of fatalities involved speeding.
--About 21 percent of those killed were pedestrians.
Fatal accident hotspots included U.S. 99 between Florin Road and Fruitridge Road; Power Inn Road near Florin Road; the intersection of I-80 and the Capitol City Freeway in West Sacramento; and the Capitol City Freeway near Arden.
This map shows the location of every local fatal car wreck between 2012 and 2014.
This map shows local fatal car wreck hotspots between 2012 and 2014.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration | Updated at 3 PM on 1/15/16 to change vehicle death rate in 1994 from 11.6 per 100,000 to 13 per 100,000.