A positive aspect of living in Los Angeles is the consistently mild weather. Sun lovers live and love it here because basically it's easy to travel on foot or bike year round. If bicycle and pedestrian accident statistics stay the same, however, people may want to rethink whether riding a bike or walking in the city is a good idea.
Numbers from between the years of 2002 and 2009 put Los Angeles on the top of the list of cities with the highest number of pedestrian and bicyclists' fatalities. The following are more specific details of the traffic safety study:
- Between the years of study, there were 2,086 fatal crashes in the city and 449,498 crashes overall.
- About one-third of those traffic deaths in Los Angeles were pedestrians.
- About 3 percent of the deaths were bicyclists.
- Men are more likely to die in Los Angeles traffic accidents.
- More people are killed in crashes at night in the city compared to the national average.
Probably the most notable statistic from above is how many pedestrians get killed in crashes in the city. The rate is about three times higher than the national average. The higher rate is certainly connected to the fact that this is a city with significantly more pedestrians and cyclists on the roads throughout the year, but the number still warrants worry and efforts for change.
We discussed one such effort for change in a past bicycle accidents post. The "Give Me 3" bike safety campaign sought to legally require drivers to always put at least three feet between them and a cyclist. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill recently. Our next post will delve further into this development.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "L.A. drivers kill more pedestrians, bicyclists than national average," Oct. 3, 2012