For as much as Los Angeles is hailed as a “motor city”, the fact remains that a good segment of the population hoofs it to work, school and play everyday. As a result, the city sees a considerable number of pedestrian accidents each year. So much so, that only New York City ranks higher in the country. But a new report just released by the LA Times reveals some surprising and some not-so-surprising facts about intersection related accident in LA. Using traffic data compiled for the California Highway Patrol and spanning over 665,000 collisions, it was determined that a quarter of all pedestrian accidents occurred at less than 1% of the city’s intersection. This includes some of the region’s most iconic thoroughfares – from Hollywood Blvd. all the way Downtown.
The problem says former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, is perception. That same notion that LA is a “motor city” may be the biggest problem. “There’s this perception — not just in Los Angeles, but in other major cities — that nobody walks,” Kahn says “That’s not only an inaccurate, but a deadly perception.” Unfortunately, it is a belief that comes honestly. Los Angeles was gridded with cars in mind – wide streets and long stretches of road that all converge in sometimes dangerously populated areas. So it stands to reason that 1 in 10 of all car accidents in Los Angeles involve a pedestrian.
So what is being done to curb pedestrian accidents and deaths? The city has already established over 200 miles of usable bike lanes. High-visibility crosswalks are already slowing motorists down in many areas and advancements in the city’s mass transit lines are gradually helping many motorists save a buck. Additionally, studies have shown that restriping a street to decrease the volume of traffic can have a tremendous impact – “Two good traffic lanes work better than three bad ones,” said Sadik-Khan.
However, it is up to both pedestrians and motorist to be wary of their surroundings when entering a crosswalk. If you have been injured at any one of the intersections detailed in this article, we highly recommend you speak with the personal injury attorneys at Kahn Roven, LLP to discuss your legal options.