The number of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists killed in Los Angeles car accidents rose sharply in 2016. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, this increase occurred despite a concerted effort by Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city leaders to eliminate fatal traffic accidents. In 2016, the first full year in which the Vision Zero policy was in effect in Los Angeles, 260 people were killed in traffic accidents in the city of Los Angeles. And that’s a whopping 43 percent increase over the previous year.
Also, this seems to be an alarming trend that’s not going away any time soon. So far in 2017, crash fatalities are 22 percent higher than the same period last year. The city’s increase in traffic deaths has been outpacing national trends. In 2016, the country saw a 6 percent increase over the previous year, according to the National Safety Council. Other large cities like New York that implemented the Vision Zero program have seen their crash fatalities go down.
What’s Causing This Increase?
Officials are pointing to an increase in driving for the rise in the number of traffic accident deaths. They say vehicle sales and registrations have risen in Southern California, fueled by lower gas prices and a healthy economy. In addition, the number of car accidents involving distracted driving is increasing as is the number of people who are choosing to walk or ride their bicycles.
LAPD is also issuing fewer speeding tickets, which could be contributing to the rise in crash fatalities. Officials are attributing the increase in pedestrian deaths to higher vehicle speeds. When a pedestrian is hit by a car moving at 20 mph, he or she has a 10 percent chance of dying, but that risk increases to 80 percent if the vehicle is moving at 40 mph. Many say dangerous roadways and intersections are also posing dangers to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Driver Negligence is a Huge Factor
Based on the analysis provided by officials and safety advocates, it appears that there are a number of factors that are causing this spike in traffic accident fatalities and most of them involve driver negligence. Some of the most common causes of crashes that we see as Los Angeles car accident attorneys include distracted driving, excessive speed, disregard for the rules of the road, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and dangerous roadways and intersections.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a Los Angeles car accident, please remember that you have legal rights and options. You may be able to receive compensation for your significant damages and losses.