Rise of traffic deaths on California roads

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KTVU) - There's been an uptick in the number of traffic deaths in California and some say it's linked to the economy and technology.

The economy and unemployment numbers are improving and that means more people are going to work, so we're seeing more traffic on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety administration says with more cars on the road there's usually an increase in road deaths.

The Sacramento Bee reports during the first three months of the year there was a 10 percent increase in fatalities and the latest data showed it has grown 13 percent over three recent years.

But state transportation agencies say drivers using smartphones are a big risk factor because it leads to distracted driving.

Another risk factor identified is the new safety technology in vehicles such as warning beeps if a vehicle gets to close.

Officials say that may make drivers pay less attention on the roads because they are relying on the car's safety features.

More pedestrians and cyclists are on the road and are getting hit by vehicles, which is also leading to the increase.

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