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Report: Most street racing deaths don’t involve the driver

Street racing has become very popular in California. Some officials point to the rise of movies that popularize these races, like the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, while others blame news stations for putting police chases on TV.

No matter the reason, it’s a very dangerous activity, leading to fatal accidents. Those on the outside may assume that most people who get killed in these wrecks are the drivers. They chose to drive recklessly, crashed their cars, and passed away.

The statistics paint a different picture. In reality, the majority of people killed in these street racing accidents are not drivers.

According to one report, only 47 percent of those who passed away were suspected drivers. The other 53 percent were not. They were made up of passengers (27 percent), uninvolved drivers (14 percent), pedestrians (6 percent) and spectators (5 percent).

Many people killed in the accidents never touched the gas pedal in a race. Some are driving home as part of their daily commute. Others are walking to the store or a friend’s house, or using a crosswalk at an inopportune moment. Still others don’t want to participate in the illegal activity, but they just can’t help watching the spectacle of the race.

Deadly accidents can happen quickly, without warning, to those who least expect them. There is no planning for this type of thing, and street racing puts everyone on California’s roads at risk. After a fatal crash that is caused by a reckless driver, it’s important for family members to know what legal options they have to seek needed compensation.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Out of control,” James Queally and Nicole Santa Cruz, March 16, 2018

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