Car accident statistics show injury-causing and fatal car accidents are on the rise in Los Angeles despite LA’s significant efforts in trying to reduce them. When Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, announced his Vision Zero plan, he was envisioning a nearly 20% drop in traffic-related deaths happening almost immediately. Instead, Los Angeles had a 43% increase of fatal car accidents in the plan’s first year.
In Vision Zero’s second year, 2017, Los Angeles experienced another 22% increase in fatal car accidents and today has the nation’s highest rate of fatal and injury-causing traffic accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident and need help, contact a car accident lawyer at Lem Garcia Law today for assistance.
Traffic Accidents in Los Angeles County by the Numbers
There were 46,500 car accidents in Los Angeles county in 2014. This number increased to 52,000 car accidents in 2015 and jumped another 20% to 55,350 traffic accidents in 2016. On average, using these auto accident facts, one person is killed as a result of a traffic accident in LA County every 40 hours.
Los Angeles County is a bustling metropolitan area known for its beautiful climate. As a result, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are prevalent in the county. Individuals opting to use these types of transportation are often affected by car accidents, sustaining serious injuries, or possibly even death.
- Motorcyclists: There are more registered motorcycles in California than any other state in the U.S. Motorcyclists are typically involved in around 3% of accidents in Los Angeles yet account for nearly 15% of deaths. In 2015, Los Angeles had 2,123 motorcyclists injured or killed in car accidents.
- Bicyclists: Riding a bike is a popular type of transportation in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles continues to invest in making its roads more bike-friendly with dedicated bicycle lanes. However, bicyclists continue to be at a higher risk of suffering a significant injury in traffic accidents. In 2015, Los Angeles saw 2,162 bicyclists injured or killed in car accidents.
- Pedestrians: Statistically, 14% of car accidents involve pedestrians. However, pedestrians tend to account for nearly half of all car accident deaths. In 2015, Los Angeles County saw 2,386 pedestrian fatalities.
To address the increasing car accident problem in LA County, officials need to study why, when, and where these accidents happen most often.
Why Traffic Accidents Happen in Los Angeles County
One theory for the increase in traffic accidents and deaths is that police officers are having to spend more time dealing with crime. This makes less time available to enforce city and county traffic laws. Los Angeles Police Department data shows the number of speeding tickets officers have issued declined significantly over the past decade. In 2010, approximately 100,000 speed-related tickets were issued compared to 17,000 in 2015.
Speed was determined as a primary factor in 6,455 Los Angeles County traffic accidents resulting in injury or death in 2015. However, speeding isn’t the only reason for car accidents in LA County. Other common causes of traffic accidents include:
- Following too closely.
- Failing to yield and merge properly.
- Fatigued driving.
- Texting while driving.
- Smoking while driving.
- Drinking and driving.
- Aggressive driving.
- Driving at night.
When Los Angeles County Car Accidents Happen
According to an Annenberg School of Journalism study of car accident data by day of the week for Los Angeles County, the following was true for 2016:
- Monday was the safest workday for driving with 25,886 traffic accidents.
- Traffic accidents increased significantly Tuesday-Thursday.
- Fridays see the highest number of traffic accidents, with 30,756 car accidents happening on Fridays in 2016.
- Weekends are safer for road traffic than during the workweek, with 24,600 car accidents happening on Saturdays and around 20,000 happening on Sundays.
In addition to specific days being safer than others, the Annenberg study also showed that particular times during the day are safer for traveling:
- Regardless of the day, the rate of traffic accidents increases between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- Fridays from 4-6 p.m. are the worst for traffic accidents, with 20% of Friday accidents happening during this time.
- Mondays see the safest 4-6 p.m. rush hour, with only 12% of traffic accidents happening during this time.
- Sundays are again the safest day to travel between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., with only 9% of the day’s accidents happening during this time.
Days leading up to holidays, when people are more likely to be rushing with additional errands, also bring an increased risk of car accidents.
Where Los Angeles County Car Accidents Happen
A University of Southern California study found the following roads and intersections were most dangerous for driving in 2016:
- The confluence of state highways 60 and 57 saw the highest number of auto accidents in 2016.
- The Hwy 5 and 605 interchange is another intersection with increased rates of traffic accidents.
- The Green Road and Hwy 91 intersection also had a comparatively higher number of auto accidents.
Fighting Accidents in Los Angeles County
Significant resources have been allocated to address these areas that are prone to increased auto-accidents, including:
- Altering traffic signals.
- Adding medians.
- Widening sidewalks.
- Installing speed feedback signs.
Officials have guided these changes using historical data of where traffic accidents are occurring and why.
Steps Drivers Can Take To Avoid Traffic Accidents
While physical roadway changes can help reduce the number of fatal car accidents, drivers also need to make efforts to drive more safely by:
- Avoiding distractions: Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents, especially in the age of smartphones. Remember to utilize hands-free options for talking, and don’t text while driving.
- Being aware of other drivers: Going hand-in-hand with attentive driving, being aware of the behavior of other drivers can help you notice if they are distracted and putting you and others at risk.
- Not following too closely: Make sure there is enough room between you and the vehicle ahead of you to safely stop if they suddenly brake.
Get Help If You Have Been Injured In a Traffic Accident in Los Angeles County
Have you or a loved one been injured in a Los Angeles County car accident? Contact the personal injury attorneys at Lem Garcia Law to learn more about the benefits of filing a personal injury claim for damages. Since 2014, we’ve focused on one goal: improving the way injured clients are treated and how personal injury cases are handled. Too many personal injury firms mislead clients and mismanage cases. Our mission is simple: improve the personal injury law industry by establishing a higher standard of outstanding personal service and obtaining results for all our clients.