After a Pandemic-Related Plummet, L.A. Auto Accidents Are Rising

Auto Accident / April 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic had a variety of societal implications that stretched beyond health. One of those involved traffic density in large cities and their surrounding areas.

With many businesses closed as a result of shutdowns — and people hesitant to spend much as much time in public as they normally would even when those shutdowns ended — fewer cars and trucks were on the roads.

Just how pronounced was the impact of the pandemic on traffic flows? A study based on Los Angeles Police Department data showed that traffic flows dropped nearly 42% over the first nine months of 2020.

The study showed that the decline began in March, after Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the first city-wide lockdown. In March 2020, police reported 2,917 traffic collisions — a drop of 41% over March 2019. That, however, was only the beginning. According to a report published by CBS Los Angeles:

“The difference (in accident numbers) is most stark between April and July, when far fewer people were driving to work or to run errands. This year, the LAPD recorded between 1,723 and 2,159 collisions each month. The 2019 figures were all at least twice as high, bouncing between 4,487 and 4,858.

“As traffic began to start again, the number of collisions in August climbed to 2,983, a boost of more than 800 from July. September was a bit lower, with 2,662 collisions, according to the LAPD, but the figure is still well above March-July levels when the roads were all but empty.”

All told, the city recorded 24,541 accidents in the first nine months of the year, as compared to 42,279 in 2019.

While the number of traffic collisions declined, traffic-related deaths did not decline in parallel. Traffic safety observers and law enforcement have suggested that relatively empty streets encouraged some drivers to speed recklessly. So, while there were fewer collisions in 2020, the collisions that occurred were, on average, deadlier.

With the Economy Recovering, Traffic Collisions Are Rising Again

With California re-opening its economy, traffic density has started to more closely resemble pre-pandemic levels. This means that traffic collision numbers are rebounding. As retail shops, restaurants and hotels welcome more visitors — and workers begin returning to the office in large numbers — traffic hazards are becoming more prominent.

Given this, it’s important that motorists are cautious and remain situationally aware. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an auto accident that leaves you seriously injured, it’s important that you follow some smart post-accident protocols, including asking for the other driver’s information, documenting the accident scene with photos and videos, securing a police report, reporting any and all injuries and/or complaints of pain to the police and to any health care providers /  emergency responders, interview witnesses, and tracking all of your medical bills and accident-related expenses.

In some cases, you may wish to speak to an attorney. Insurance companies have vast resources and employ workers who are skilled in negotiation. The right auto accident attorney can help level the playing field — and ensure you are fairly compensated for any injuries or financial losses.

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