Auto accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States a present a considerable cause for concern for Los Angeles residents.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority transports almost a million passengers every day. In Los Angeles, the number of injury-causing and fatal car accidents is on the rise. In 2016, the number of traffic accidents in Los Angeles reached 55,350, with roughly one person killed in an LA traffic accident every 40 hours. In 2017, Los Angeles saw a 22% rise in fatal automobile accidents. Despite attempts to improve road safety in Los Angeles, statistics from the LAPD have shown that the number of people killed and injured on LA roads in 2021 is on pace to exceed 2020, which was one of the deadliest years on US roads in more than a decade.
Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can result in serious, life-changing injuries. Depending on the types of injuries you sustain, you may require expensive medical care such as reconstructive surgery, vocational rehabilitation, permanent medical equipment, and medications. You may also suffer lost income and a diminished quality of life. Injuries include:
- head injury
- traumatic brain injury
- chest injury
- back injury
- spinal cord injury and paralysis
- amputation of limbs
- soft tissue damage (muscles, tendons, ligaments)
- deep cuts/lacerations
Causes of Car Accidents in Los Angeles
There are various reasons that car accidents occur in Los Angeles.
One of the most common causes is distracted driving. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that diverts attention away from driving, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. A distracted driver endangers everyone else on the road because they are unable to devote their full attention to driving.
Driving over the speed limit not only increases the probability of being involved in an automobile accident but also increases the likelihood that the incident will result in serious injury or death.
Reckless driving can be extremely dangerous, causing others to dodge their vehicles. It can include unsafe lane changes, wrong-way driving, road rage, turning in an unsafe way and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving ranks among the highest causes of fatalities. In fact, in 2021 crashes caused by drunk drivers have risen by 20%.
Dangerous Roads in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has some of the most dangerous roads in all of California.
In LA, Sierra Highway is known for being one of the most dangerous areas. Despite having such a short length, its fatality rate is incredibly high. Due to the outdated street infrastructure, Sierra Highway is far more dangerous than it should be. Although it requires desperate upgrades and repairs, the large amount of traffic that passes through Sierra Highway every minute makes it near impossible for it to shut down for serious work.
The Interstate 405 features heavy congestion at all times. It is notorious for having a high rate of reckless drivers (including drunk drivers, people speeding and distracted drivers). In addition to this, having LAX nearby also increases the number of chaotic drivers who converge from the highway.
Highway 74 has heavy commuter traffic and with winding roads, it has a high fatality rate. There is a desperate need for expansion and improvements to this highway, however, this cannot be done without impeding traffic even more.
State Route 138
State Route 138 has been dubbed the "highway of death," "blood alley," and "death route." State Route 138 crosses east to west with many mountainous sections in its eastern leg. It is a scenic highway as it follows the San Gabriel Mountains and the Mojave Desert. In Los Angeles, Route 138 is notorious for its steep, hilly scenery, abrupt S-turns, and startling drop-offs.
Fox 11 News identified several intersection among the most dangerous in Los Angeles:
"Below is a list of the top 20 intersections in Los Angeles provided by Crosstown LA.
1. Van Nuys: Sherman Way & Sepulveda Blvd.
2. Vermont Knolls: Manchester Ave. & Figueroa St.
3. Van Nuys: Burbank Blvd. & Sepulveda Blvd.
4. Panorama City: Van Nuys Blvd. & Roscoe Blvd.
5. Valley Glen: Victory Blvd. & Coldwater Canyon Ave.
6. Northridge: Tampa Ave. & Nordhoff St.
7. Van Nuys: Sherman Way & Woodman Ave.
8. Valley Glen: Sherman Way & Coldwater Canyon Ave.
9. Vermont Vista: Imperial Highway & Figueroa St.
10. Lake Balboa: Balboa Blvd. & Victory Blvd.
11. West Hills: Fallbrook Ave. & Victory Blvd.
12. Valley Glen: Sherman Way & Whitsett Ave.
13. Porter Ranch: Devonshire St. & Reseda Blvd.
14. Van Nuys: Sepulveda Blvd. & Victory Blvd.
15. Broadway- Manchester: Imperial Highway & Main St.
16. Van Nuys: Sherman Way & Kester Ave.
17. Panorama City: Van Nuys & Arminta St.
18. Winnetka: Saticoy St. & Winnetka Ave.
19. Van Nuys: Sepulveda Blvd. & Erwin St.
20. Northridge: Tampa St. & Plummer St.
Seventeen intersections are located within the San Fernando Valley." (Source: Fox 11 News).
How we can help
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, you may have a personal injury case if you can prove that the collision was caused by the driver of the other vehicle, a problem with an unsafe roadway, or a defect with the vehicle. You may be entitled to loss of income, property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Auto accident claims, especially those involving multiple vehicles or roadway or vehicle defects, may be highly complex. They may involve pursuing cases against large powerful corporations, public entities, and insurance companies. Therefore you need a law firm such as ours, with extensive experience and the resources to handle such cases and maximize your recovery.
Contact Taschner Law today for a Free Consultation or and see how we can help!
Major Los Angeles Roads (published under GNU Wikipedia License):
LOS ANGELES FREEWAYS
There are a dozen major freeways that crisscross the greater Los Angeles region. California's first freeway was the Arroyo Seco Parkway segment of California State Route 110, also known as the Pasadena Freeway. It opened on January 1, 1940 and links downtown Los Angeles to downtown Pasadena. From Chavez Ravine north to Pasadena it can be quite dangerous because there is no shoulder, the lanes are narrow, the turns are sharp (not always properly banked), and the ramps are quite short and offer little room for acceleration to freeway speed; all of this is because the freeway was designed for much slower cars and much less traffic volume than exists today.[original research?] Commercial vehicles over 6,000 pounds (2.7 t; 2.7 long tons) are prohibited from using this freeway. Newer freeways are straighter, wider, and allow for higher speeds.
Major freeways in Los Angeles include:
- Glendale Freeway
- Santa Ana Freeway
- Golden State Freeway
- Santa Monica Freeway/San Bernardino Freeway
- Antelope Valley Freeway
- Seaside Freeway
- Pomona Freeway
- Marina Freeway
- Gardena Freeway
- Hollywood Freeway
- Ventura Freeway
- Terminal Island Freeway
- Glenn M. Anderson Freeway/Century Freeway
- Harbor Freeway
- Arroyo Seco Parkway
- Ronald Reagan Freeway
- Foothill Freeway
- San Diego Freeway
- Long Beach Freeway
Major highways in Los Angeles include:
- Pacific Coast Highway/Lincoln Boulevard
- Santa Monica Boulevard
- Decker Canyon Road
- Topanga Canyon Boulevard
- Alameda Street
- Slauson Avenue
- Highland Avenue
- Venice Boulevard
Angelenos are noted for referring to freeways with the definite article ("The 101"), in contrast to most other areas of the United States, who omit the article. Referring to freeways by name, for example "The San Diego Freeway", is essentially a holdover from the time when the freeways were built, and is diminishing. Nevertheless, freeways continue to be officially named; for example, State Route 118 was christened the Ronald Reagan Freeway.
Rush Hour Traffic
Rush hour occurs on weekdays between 5 am and 10 am, and in the afternoon between 3 pm and 7 pm (although rush-hour traffic can occasionally spill out to 11 am and start again from 2 pm until as late as 10 pm, especially on Fridays). Traffic can occur at almost any time, particularly before major holidays (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and three-day weekends) and even on regular weekends when one otherwise would not expect it. Experienced Angelenos recognize the need to factor traffic into their commute.
Despite the congestion in Los Angeles city, the mean travel time for commuters in Los Angeles is shorter than other major cities, including New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago. Los Angeles' mean travel time for work commutes in 2006 was 29.2 minutes, similar to those of San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Los Angeles has synchronized its traffic lights.
LOS ANGELES STREETS
The city has an extensive street grid. Arterial streets (referred to as surface streets by locals, in contrast with freeways which are usually grade-separated roadways) connect freeways with smaller neighborhood streets, and are often used to bypass congested freeway routes. Consequently, most of the surface arterial streets in Los Angeles have various forms of congestion control.
Some of the more common means of maintaining surface street traffic flow is the use of loop-sensors embedded in the pavement allowing for intersection traffic signal timing adjustments to favor the more heavily delayed roadways; the use of a traffic control system allows for the synchronization of traffic signals to improve traffic flow (as of October 2009 this system is currently installed at 85% of the city's signalized intersections, more than any other US city); restrictions on vehicle turns on roadways without designated turning lanes during rush-hours; and the extensive use of rush-hour parking restrictions, allowing for an extra lane of travel in each direction during peak hours (weekdays excluding holidays generally from 7-9am thru 4-7pm, although hours vary by location) by eliminating on street parking and standing of vehicles, with violators being ticketed, and in the case of priority routes known as "anti-gridlock zones", immediately towed by specialized enforcement teams dubbed "tiger teams" at steep cost to the violator.
1st Street divides the block numbering grid north and south, and southwest of the Los Angeles River, Main Street divides the city east and west. Northeast of the river, block designations are divided east and west by Pasadena Avenue and North Figueroa Street.
From downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, in a straight-down vertical pattern, east–west streets are numbered (starting with 1st Street in downtown, to 266th Street in Harbor City), and north–south streets are named. (1st Street is one block south of Temple.) There are many exceptions to the numbered streets, but the above pattern is generally used. This same numbered pattern is not mirrored north of Temple. Addresses are then numbered east or west stemming from Main Street (a major north south artery). Therefore, the landmark Watts Towers at 1765 E. 107th Street is approximately 107 streets south of 1st Street, and on the 17th street east of Main Street. Although the numbered streets are sequential, they do not necessarily equal the number of blocks south of 1st Street, as there are streets such as 118th Street and then 118th Place.
Many of the numbered streets also continue into neighboring cities, but some cities, such as Manhattan Beach, have made their own numbered street grid. Also, some districts of Los Angeles, such as Wilmington, San Pedro, Venice, and Playa Del Rey have their own numbered street grids.
Many arterials have been labeled as boulevards, and many of those mentioned below have been immortalized in movies, music, and literature.
Major east–west routes include: Roscoe, Victory, Ventura, Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, Beverly, Wilshire, Olympic, Pico, Venice, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Exposition, Obama Boulevard, and Martin Luther King Jr (formerly Santa Barbara Avenue), and Century Boulevard. The major north–south routes include: Topanga Canyon, Crenshaw, Reseda, Lincoln, Sepulveda, Van Nuys, Westwood, Beverly Glen, San Vicente, Robertson, La Cienega, Laurel Canyon, Glendale, Avalon Boulevard, and Main Street.
There are many other famous L.A. streets which carry significant traffic but are not labeled as boulevards. Examples include: Broadway, Bundy Drive, Barrington Avenue, Centinela Avenue, Fountain Avenue, Mulholland Drive, Slauson Avenue, Pacific Coast Highway, Century Park East, Avenue of the Stars, Century Park West, Normandie Avenue, Highland Avenue, Melrose Avenue, Florence Avenue, Manchester Avenue, Vermont Avenue, La Brea Avenue, Fairfax Avenue, Western Avenue, Van Ness Avenue, Figueroa Street, Grand Avenue, Huntington Drive, Central Avenue, Alameda Street, and Imperial Highway. West Los Angeles has many streets named after states that run east and west. Somewhat confusingly, adjacent Santa Monica uses a few of the same state names for different streets of its own.
Potholes are a notorious problem in Los Angeles and frequently cause severe damage to all kinds of vehicles. In 2008, then-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made "Operation Pothole" one of his top priorities for that year and pledged to fill one million street potholes. However, due to the city's poorly managed budget, the city's Bureau of Street Services has only a single dedicated pothole-repair truck to cover 275 miles (440 km) of streets (meaning that the backlog is still bad and getting worse). Many city streets, such as Wilshire Boulevard, were engineered when cars, trucks, and buses were much smaller, and desperately need to be torn up and rebuilt from scratch to handle the weight of today's larger vehicles.