2023 California Traffic Safety Study Summary


2023 marked the fourteenth year of the California Office of Traffic Safety’s (OTS) Annual Traffic Safety Study. The study is intended to create a better understanding of trends in traffic safety behaviors and help focus traffic safety programs, which include enforcement efforts along with public education campaigns to ensure they are effective in targeting areas with disproportionate traffic safety injuries. The survey is sponsored by the OTS and administered by Ewald and Wasserman Research Consultants, along with University of California Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC).

The 2023 wave of data collection for the statewide traffic safety survey was conducted with an online panel of California drivers instead of an intercept interview, as were previous waves of data collection. The survey questions and data analysis of survey items presented in this report are largely similar to previous waves of the survey, including survey items on traffic safety opinions and knowledge on traffic safety campaigns, distracted driving and perceptions about pedestrian and bicycle traffic interactions. In 2022, the survey underwent a revision with new survey items added to gain understanding of opinions about the Safe System approach, which was introduced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

The participants for the online survey panel were obtained through Qualtrics, a commercial panel vendor utilizing multiple subcontractors, to provide a representative cross-section of pre-screened and qualified respondents. SafeTREC paid attention to matching age and gender distributions with previous years. Below are the results from the 2023 California Traffic Safety Public Opinion Study. Overall, 2,815 eligible panelists completed the online survey in 2023. Panelists consisted of California drivers who were forwarded to an online survey portal. The criteria for eligibility included a valid California driver’s license and being at least 18 years of age. Numbers in the tables below may not add to 100% due to rounding error.

View the full report at the SafeTREC website.

Jill F. Cooper
Publication date: 
August 31, 2023
Publication type: 
Technical Report