Driving Safely on LA’s Dangerous Streets

girl driving fast

The rise of road accidents in Los Angeles is no trivial matter. The number of crash-related fatalities has surpassed those of both gun-related deaths and homicides. Road safety is now something everyone should put to heart.

Vision Zero Has Almost Zero Effects

Four years after Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Los Angeles Vision Zero Action Plan to remedy the city’s growing number of vehicle accidents, the program has had minimal effect on curbing the number of accidents. The year before Vision Zero was implemented saw around 45,000 road accidents. On the year of its implementation, the number of crashes rose instead of dropping — with the city experiencing 52,000 accidents. The second year of the program (2016) also had disastrous results, as the number of road accidents even rose to 55,000. Vision Zero had a short-term goal of reducing crash-related deaths by 2017, but the number of road fatalities in 2017 was more than 30 percent higher than in 2015. The number of pedestrians killed since the program was implemented has also risen, and 2017 and 2018 had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the last 15 years.

Put Your Safety in Your Hands

No matter what policy the city implements, safety is primarily in the hands of individual drivers. Always wear your seatbelt and have your airbags checked to make sure they are fully functional. Take additional precautions if you have children as safety equipment have been known to save lives. Make sure your mind is clear when you’re driving. Alcohol, cannabis, and specific medication can dull your reflexes, so avoid accidents or a DUI by just taking an Uber or Lyft. The faster you drive, the harder the impact. Thus, keep it below the speed limit. Driving fast also gives you a smaller window to react to obstacles and other road hazards. Keep your eye — and mind — on the road. A few seconds of inattention can lead to unfortunate accidents, so texting and smoking is a no-no.

Accidents Aren’t the Only Dangers on the Road

person involved in car accident

LA streets are full of unscrupulous drivers and overzealous cops. False claims and unlawful arrests aren’t typical, but they aren’t rare either. Protect yourself from these incidents with a dashboard camera or similar recording device. A dashboard camera can keep a record of your drive, providing an unbiased source of evidence against fraudulent accident claims from scamming motorists and unwarranted arrests from traffic cops. However, if you do get flagged by a police officer, stay in your vehicle, politely cooperate with the officer, and mention that you have a recording of your drive. It might be prudent to have the number of your attorney in LA easily accessible in case of accidents or other incidents on the road.

The roads of Los Angeles are quite dangerous, but the proper mindset and a little bit of preparation can make your drives a whole lot safer. Don’t rely on a government initiative to keep you safe; you’re the one behind the wheel, and your safety is in your hands.