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According to an analysis conducted by the Los Angeles Times, the busiest areas of the metro area are also the most dangerous places in Los Angeles for drivers and pedestrians. Driver and Pedestrian-involved accidents occur in less than 1% of the intersections of the city, and these dangerous crossings, in which a large number of accidents occur, are in the busiest areas of Los Angeles.
According to the National Center for Safer Routes (NCSR), 10 cities in the country are considered the deadliest places because drivers do not respect red lights in traffic. Los Angeles ranked third, with 123 deaths between 2004 and 2013, out of a total of 7,779 nationwide.
Dangerous Intersections to Be Aware Of
Pedestrian deaths account for 35% of deaths from road accidents. There are more than 800 high-risk intersections, which had a higher rate of accidents and pedestrian deaths than other counties. Many of the intersections accidents are in dense areas such as Downtown, Koreatown, Westlake and Hollywood.
According to many police reports from Los Angeles County, during the last four years cyclist accidents happened way to frequently at:
- 31st ST & Vermont Ave – had 14 collisions within 500 ft
- 29th St. & Hoover St. – had 14 accidents within 500 feet
- 43rd Place & Central Ave – had 12 accidents within 500 ft
- 31st Street & Figueroa St. – had 11 accidents within 500 ft
- 43rd Place & Figueroa Street – had 10 accidents within 500 feet
Other dangerous corners in Downtown Los Angeles
- On Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue, 38 pedestrians were hit by cars, with one dead. This area is known for busy traffic and crowds of tourists which makes security and safety more urgent.
- Alameda Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard
- Hill Street between 5th and 6th streets where three people lost their lives
- Figueroa Street, between 5th and 7th streets where two people died
- Normandie and Wilshire
Research and Statistics
An analysis of 656,000 road accidents occurring from 2002 through 2013 in the county identified 579 intersections where the auto-pedestrian accident rate was higher than the county average. Downtown Los Angeles has the highest concentration of busy intersections. More than 600 people were hit by cars at 48 intersections during the last 12 years. This represents an average of one person per week. Eleven of these died because of the accidents, most of them involving crashes.
In the Westlake area near MacArthur Park, 343 pedestrians were killed during the same period, and three died in an area of less than a mile. In Koreatown, near the subway lines, more than 400 walkers were involved in accidents and 11 died.
Also, some of Hollywood’s famous roads, such as Sunset, Santa Monica and Hollywood Boulevards, are dangerous for pedestrians. At least 369 people were hit in 23 intersections and eight people died because of this.
But pedestrians aren’t the only group of vulnerable people at intersections, cyclists also suffer from many accidents when crossing them, most of them involving collisions with cars when ignoring a stoplight. The study, showing car, cycling, pedestrian and bus accident statistics and based on recent information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), highlights not only the cities with the most fatalities but also the intersections where more accidents have occurred.
Safety Tips When Crossing Intersections
Take steps to be safe when walking, cycling or driving in public ways with high traffic, such as being careful at intersections and crossings. Make yourself more visible at night by wearing retro-reflective clothing and carrying flashlights if you’re a pedestrian, or having functional front lights on your bicycle, or headlamps if you’re driving an automobile.
We must not forget that much of the abuse in the city occurs at pedestrian crossings and unmarked places. Often, most adults know the rules for crossing the roadway, and even so accidents occur. We have to realize that crossing a road is not an easy task, we have to process a lot of information in a very short time and almost unconsciously.
And during all the time we are processing the situation, the vehicle is still moving, traveling meters of road and reducing the space between the car and the pedestrian or cyclist.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents – Recommendations for Pedestrians
- Before arriving at the road, look at the speed and distance of the cars and be aware of California laws.
- When you look left and right, remember to do it with an advanced foot, which it facilitates the beginning of the march.
- If you carry a backpack, put it on correctly and don’t carry it hanging from a shoulder
- When you reach the pedestrian crossing, stop on the sidewalk, not the road, to show your intention to cross by looking at the cars and their drivers. Once the cars have stopped, it’s safe to begin crossing.
- If the street is one-way, cross the side of the pedestrian crossing which is further from the stopped car.
- If the street is two-way, make sure that the cars that circulate in both directions stop. Always cross around the place that allows you more visibility, while anticipating the speed of vehicles in all directions of the road. Remember to avoid this type of situation by looking for the nearest pedestrian crossing.
Recommendations For Cyclists
- Get a headlight made for bicycles. If you ride at night, you should use a front light without hesitation. Traffic rules demand it anyways. Even for daytime riding, a bright white flashing light can make you more visible to drivers who might otherwise hit you on the right.
- Ring the bell. Get a buzzer or a horn and use them whenever you see a car approaching (or waiting) in front of you. If you do not have a horn, yell, “Hey!” You may feel uncomfortable honking or shouting but it is better to feel uncomfortable than suffering a bike accident.
- Reduce speed. If you cannot have eye contact with the driver (especially at night), slow down enough to be sure you can stop if necessary.
- Look into the mirror or turn your head before approaching an intersection. Make sure you look well before you get to it. When you are already crossing the intersection, you will need to pay attention to what you have in front of you.
- Choose streets with slow traffic and know the bicycle laws in Los Angeles. The slower you go (and the more you know), the more time the driver has to see you. Secondary (less busy) streets are more advisable. Investigate how to make your journeys through this type of streets.
Recommendations For Automobiles
- On two-way lanes with the opposite direction, you must drive on the right side. Read our piece on what to do after a car accident.
- When two vehicles are facing each other at an intersection with opposite direction, and want to cross to the same side, the priority is for the driver crossing to the right.
- If two cars are driving in parallel in the same direction, the one that goes to the right at unmarked intersections has a priority.
- At the time of stopping the car, drivers must use their light signals and pull over on the right side of the road.
- Crossing lights or arm signals should be used even if the driver assumes there is no other vehicle that can see it to alert motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
What’s Los Angeles doing to fight the dangerous intersections?
The Los Angeles County Civil Registry Office today officially designated the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan as Measure M for the November 8, 2016 ballot. Measure M, promoted by Metro, is an expense plan that would finance a wide variety of transportation projects and highways; improvements for local streets, and programs for seniors, students, and the disabled for the next four decades. At the time, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was pleased with the passage of Measure M, aimed at reducing traffic.
Common Causes of Accidents at LA Intersections
Had an Accident – Hire the Best Pedestrian Injury Accident Law Firm
Accidents are part of our daily life, and even when taking the necessary precautions there is always the possibility of being part of one. If you suffered an injury and need a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney, it is important to hire a lawyer who can help you get the right compensation for it.
Avrek Law Firm has years of experience working with clients who need representation in their cases; we know what we’re doing and we’re willing to help you. Contact us and find out for free if you might have a case.