a graphic showing a pistol and a car

Are there more car accidents or gun deaths each year?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

In the ongoing debate surrounding public safety and health, two leading causes of unintentional and intentional harm frequently rise to the forefront: car accidents and gun-related deaths. These topics not only dominate headlines but also spark complex conversations about regulation, prevention, and the societal impacts of each. As we navigate through the statistics and stories that shape our understanding of these issues, it becomes essential to examine the data: Are there more car accidents or gun deaths each year?

At J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, our commitment extends beyond the courtroom to encompass a broader mission of informing and engaging with our community on vital safety and health concerns. With a deep-rooted dedication to serving victims of personal injuries in California, we aim to shed light on this pressing question, offering insights into the prevalence of car accidents and gun deaths, and what these figures mean for individuals and families affected by such tragedies.

This blog seeks to delve into the heart of the matter, presenting an informed comparison of the annual rates of car accidents and gun-related fatalities. Through our exploration, we aim to contribute to the ongoing discourse on how best to safeguard our communities, advocate for effective policies, and support those who have suffered due to these devastating events.

Gun Violence Data and Research

Office of Gun Violence Prevention Data Report

On August 15, 2023, Attorney General Bonta released the first-ever “Office of Gun Violence Prevention Data Report,” shedding further light on the impact of gun violence in California and the nation. The report provides a robust review of gun violence data in California and throughout the nation to help guide policy and strategy discussions related to reducing gun violence.

On November 6, 2023, Attorney General Bonta released the second data report issued by the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, providing an in-depth look at the ties between domestic violence and firearms. The report examines data illustrating the impact of firearms-related domestic violence, including both family and intimate partner-related violence with firearms.

Do California’s Gun Safety Laws Work?

a meaningless chart. it literally shows a random line going up. But it doesn't represent anything other than the number of gun deaths that go up every day for no reason.

Yes.  Although the United States is an outlier when compared to gun violence in other wealthy nations, California has one of the lowest rates of firearm mortality in the country—44th out of 50. Only Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut have lower firearm mortality rates.  Notably, all of these states received a “B” or better on Gifford’s Law Center’s 2021 Annual Gun Law Scorecard, an assessment of the strength of each state’s gun safety laws. California received an “A” for having “the strongest gun laws in the United States.”

By contrast, every state that received an “F” rating from Giffords—all 24 of them—had a higher gun death rate than California.   Mississippi, Louisiana, and Wyoming, all of who received an “F,” had firearm mortality rates triple that of California. 

The average firearm mortality rate in the United States is 13.7 per 100,000 people.  California’s stands at 8.5 per 100,000.  Texas is higher than the national average, at 14.2 per 100,000.

This trend is consistent across different measures of Firearm Violence. For example, Californians are about 25% less likely than citizens of other states to die in a mass shooting.

This is no accident.   In 2005, California’s firearm mortality was much more in line with other large states like Texas and Florida.  Since then, California has tightened its gun laws.  Florida and Texas have gone the opposite direction. During that time period, California’s firearm mortality rate dropped, while the rate has increased dramatically in Florida and Texas.

Firearm Mortality Rate, Per 100,000 People

a chart showing gun deaths in california in 2005 versus 2020

Do Gun Violence Restraining Orders work?

  • California was the first state in the nation to adopt a “red flag law,” which allows courts to issue restraining orders preventing individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others from possessing firearms.  Generally called Gun Violence Restraining Orders or GVROs, such orders have been available in California since January 2016.  In the first three years of their existence, GVROs were used in 58 cases of threatened mass shootings; in every instance for which data is available, the mass shooting did not occur.  Among a study of 379 respondents in GVRO cases, only one later died as a result of a firearm injury.

While Californians are less likely to die as a result of a firearm, too many Californians still suffer the harm of gun violence:

  • Someone is killed with a gun every three hours in California.
  • Californians who live with handgun owners are more than twice as likely to die of homicide.
  • California women living with handgun owners are more likely to die by suicide
  • More than half of those killed by firearms in California die as a result of suicide
  • From hiring police to detect and investigate gun crime to paying medical expenses for gun injuries, gun violence is expensive.  Annually, gun violence costs the state approximately $18 billion—just under $500 per Californian. (source)
The J&Y Legal Team

Call a California Car Accident Lawyer Today

As we conclude our exploration into the comparative analysis of car accidents and gun deaths, it’s clear that both issues represent significant challenges to public safety and health in our communities. Understanding the scope and impact of these incidents is crucial in driving meaningful conversations and actions towards prevention and support for the affected individuals and families.

At J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, our commitment goes beyond just legal representation. We are dedicated to advocating for safer communities, informed by data and compassion for those impacted by personal injuries, whether they occur on the road or result from gun violence. Our team is here to offer support, guidance, and expert legal counsel to those navigating the aftermath of such life-changing events.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident or affected by gun violence, you don’t have to face the journey to recovery alone. Contact J&Y Law Firm at (323) 202-2305 to discuss how we can assist you in securing the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and any impact on your quality of life. Together, we can take the steps necessary towards healing and justice.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.