Los Angeles can be a challenging or even dangerous place to drive. Even for those of us who call LA home, the threat of a car accident is always there. Over 7.5 million cars, trucks, and motorcycles are registered in LA County and nearly half a million commuters drive into LA County from elsewhere each workday. With so many cars on the roads and so much congestion, LA is among the most dangerous cities in the United States when it comes to traffic fatalities and injuries.
Read on for more LA accident statistics you may not know.
#1 - There was a dramatic drop in roadway traffic at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, yet the fatality rate hardly changed.
It may not come as a surprise, but roadway traffic rates dropped drastically at the beginning of March 2020 due to the lockdown restrictions put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As you may remember, the City of Los Angeles set strict guidelines to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the height of the lockdown, Los Angeles residents were urged to remain in their homes for anything other than essential goods and services.
Covid restrictions caused traffic rates to drop as much as 70% in mid-to-late March 2020 compared to the beginning of the year. April 2020 saw traffic volumes fall 30% to 50%.
Conventional wisdom would have you believe that a drop in traffic rates should lead to a drop in traffic accident fatalities. In Los Angeles, this did not happen. In 2019 there were a total of 246 traffic deaths in LA. That number only dropped to 241 traffic deaths in 2020 despite fewer vehicles on the road for a portion of the year.
#2 - 2021 saw the highest death rate on Los Angeles streets in nearly 20 years.
Los Angeles officials promised to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025 with the introduction of Vision Zero in 2015. More than halfway into the initiative, traffic deaths are going up, not down.
In 2021 LA saw the highest death rate in almost two decades. Data from the Los Angeles Police Department shows that 294 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2021. This is a nearly 22% increase from 2020.
In 2015, one person was killed in a Los Angeles traffic accident every 48 hours. In 2021, one person was killed in a Los Angeles traffic accident every 30 hours.
2021 also saw a rise in the following types of LA accidents:
- Severe DUI crashes (where a driver seriously injured another person)
- Fatal DUI crashes
- Fatal hit-and-run crashes
- Severe hit-and-run crashes
- Crashes in which a driver seriously injured a pedestrian
- Crashes in which a driver seriously injured a bicyclist
- Crashes in which a driver killed a bicyclist
#3 - 2022 is on pace to be even more dangerous than last year.
Unfortunately, car accident rates in 2022 have increased from last year. From January 1st to March 5th, 2022, a total of 62 people lost their lives in car accidents, compared to 53 during the same period last year.
#4 - Residents of the city’s underserved communities are disproportionately affected by fatal traffic collisions.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, “Residents of underserved communities are disproportionately killed in traffic crashes.” South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley have more fatal and severe injury accidents than any other part of the county. In 2021, South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley had:
- 68% of LA County fatal accidents
- Over 60% of all LA County serious injury accidents
- 65% of all LA County pedestrian accident fatalities
#5 - More than 200 people lose their lives while moving around the city each year.
Nearly half of those who lose their lives in traffic accidents are walking or riding a bicycle and a concerning number of those who suffer fatalities are children and older adults. Tragically, motor vehicle accidents are the most common reason why children lose their lives in Los Angeles.
Why Does LA Have So Many Accidents?
Safety advocates agree that there is not just one thing that is causing accidents in LA. During the pandemic when fewer cars were on the road, LA still saw a rise in speeding and reckless driving, which led to deaths and injuries. When Covid restrictions eased and more drivers returned to the roads, death and injury rates either remained the same or increased.
One thing that many agree on is the danger of speeding on local streets, which continues to increase every year. In California, speed limits are often increased rather than decreased, which puts pedestrians and bicyclists at higher risk for serious injury. Perhaps a solution to this problem that could reduce fatalities and injuries is to identify roads with high accident rates and look seriously at reducing speed limits. Last year, a motion was drafted to do just that, especially for roads with a history of severe and fatal crashes.
We’re Here to Helped Injured Car Accident Victims
If you’ve sustained injuries in a Los Angeles car accident as a result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The Los Angeles accident lawyers at Baum Hedlund have a track record of success litigating cases on behalf of victims in our home city and across the nation. Across all areas of practice our law firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements.
If you have any questions about our firm or the legal process, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced team right away. We have helped many others in similar situations, and we will do everything we can to help you too.
Contact our office by calling (855) 948-5098 or submitting an online contact form today to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled semi-truck accident attorneys.