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The Fall and Rise of Los Angeles’ Traffic Accidents During the Pandemic

The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to traffic accidents. A recent report by the Los Angeles Police Department, over 54,000 crashes happened on the city’s roads in 2019. Over 236 people died from them. This contributes to the 32% spike in fatal car accidents in the last five years and a 7% increase in fatal hit-and-runs in the past year. And while California has a relatively low deaths per population rate compared to other states like Mississippi and Alabama, the growing number of crashes and deaths in L.A. specifically is troubling

Sudden Changes

The COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly throughout the country in early 2020. California was one of the states hit the hardest by the virus, with more than 270,000 cases as of early July 2020. Within the state, Los Angeles had the most number of cases, with more than 31,000. As more people started to contract the disease, the local government decided to lock down the cities last March. People had no choice but to stay at home and only go out during supply runs.

Traffic dropped by 55% on the state’s roads, according to a recent report by the University of California — Davis. Because of this, road accidents and fatalities also dropped significantly. Traffic collisions and trauma injuries for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists decreased by as much as 50%. This sharp fall in accidents saved the state over $40 million a day.

A Shocking Surge

The drop in traffic accidents was short-lived, almost two months, to be exact. The number of collision fatalities is starting to crawl to the same amount as 2019, according to the LAPD. Officials attribute this to speeding. The roads are much more open now, so some drivers may have the tendency to rev up their vehicles to get to their destination much faster. And with more businesses opening, the city will expect more vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

The government is trying to curb accidents by putting their traffic lights in nighttime settings, which lessens the likelihood of drivers getting multiple green lights, forcing them to stop every few yards. They’re also lengthening light cycles so people have more time to cross roads without pushing the pedestrian button.

man calling his attorney or lawyer after an incidentWhat to Do if You Get into a Car Accident

Even if you drive as carefully as you can in L.A.’s currently barren roads, you’re still at the mercy of your fellow drivers. Negligent ones may end up turning or speeding at the wrong moment, causing a really bad collision.

If this happens, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Check your passengers and yourself to see if they need immediate medical attention. Call 911 immediately to report what happened and to get medical help. Contact an attorney that specializes in truck accidents if you got hit by one. They’ll coordinate with the police and your insurance company for you.

Los Angeles is a hotbed for car accidents, which was only quelled by an issue that’s just as worse: a pandemic. The lockdown continues to be extended, but as businesses open, more and more people are going to be on the street. Continue to stay vigilant while driving and follow the rules of the road, even if it’s empty. And if you don’t need to go out, just don’t! You’ll help quell the city’s virus and traffic problem at the same time.

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