How Many Fatal Crashes Are Due To Speeding In Los Angeles?

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    What Percent Of Fatal Crashes Can Be Attributed To Speeding In Los Angeles?

    Life in Los Angeles is fast-paced, and it is evident in its roads and highways as well. Everyone is rushing to reach their destinations, finish their appointments, and move on to the next location. Drivers have become accustomed to speeding to keep up with societal and lifestyle demands.

    Traffic fatalities increased 3.4 percent from 3,719 in 2019 to 3,847 in 2020. Between January 2020 and June 2021, 78 fatal crashes in Los Angeles were caused by unsafe speed. This has raised concerns for both authorities and citizens, especially for pedestrians and cyclists who share the road with other drivers.

    Arash Law’s car accident attorneys in L.A. are dedicated to providing quality legal services to victims of speeding-related traffic accidents. We can help you understand your legal rights and what you can do if you or a loved one suffers after a traffic accident. We aim to help you recover fully and secure the justice you deserve, such as lost wages, medical bills, and financial compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (888) 488-1391 for a free consultation.

    How Many Fatal Crashes In Los Angeles Are Caused By Speeding?

    According to our analysis of 2021 data from the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), around 80 or 24.8% of 322 fatal car crashes in Los Angeles were attributed to unsafe speeds. These incidents led to 86 fatalities and 58 injuries, including the following victims:

    • Ninety-seven drivers
    • Thirty-four Passengers
    • Ten pedestrians
    • Three bicyclists

    These numbers have declined since then, per the provisional data available on the SWITRS. Unsafe speeds contributed to 74 (21.02%) of 353 fatal crashes the following year. In 2023, about 47 (17.03%) of 276 speeding-related traffic incidents that killed at least one victim were recorded in the city.

    The Problem With Speeding In Los Angeles

    Speeding remains a persistent issue in the City of Angels due to the high traffic volume. As of 2022, the City of Los Angeles had around 3,822,238 residents, making it the most populous city in California. As such, it experiences high traffic congestion, especially in areas like downtown and Hollywood. According to recent data, speeding is a leading cause of accidents in the City of Angels, accounting for over 30% of all traffic collisions. These accidents often result in severe injuries and even fatalities, highlighting the urgent need for effective measures to address this issue.

    LA also attracts a diverse range of visitors and businesses as Southern California’s cultural, commercial, and financial hub. However, it’s best known for being the world’s entertainment capital, from the arts and entertainment to sports and activities.


    • Many tourists flock to see Hollywood, from the iconic landmarks on Mount Lee to the studios behind every A-list movie and TV show. One in six LA residents works in a creative field, supporting the notion that Los Angeles is the “creative capital of the world.” Anyone who wants to make it big in the film industry often travels and moves to the city.
    • Downtown Los Angeles is well-loved for its diversity. It is the city’s central business hub, where locals and visitors can find hundreds to thousands of different shops and restaurants. The neighborhood is divided into different districts: arts, fashion, theater, toys, banking, and jewelry.
    • Besides the arts and theater, Los Angeles is also the home of various professional sports teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Dodgers. The city also boasts several well-known sports venues, including the Dodger and SoFi stadiums.

    A dense population, high tourist activity, and traffic congestion increase the likelihood of speeding-related accidents and other road collisions.

    What Is The Speed Limit In Los Angeles?

    The maximum speed limit on most California highways, including those in Los Angeles, is 65 miles per hour. Unless otherwise posted, vehicles towing trailers and two-lane undivided highways are limited to 55 mph.

    Other Legal Speed Limits In California
    • Alleys, blind intersections, and blind railroad crossings have a speed limit of 15 mph.
    • Residential and business districts, school zones, playground areas, and senior citizen facilities have a speed limit of 25 mph.

    Whether the limit is posted or not, California’s “Basic Speed Law” requires all Los Angeles drivers to drive reasonably and prudently.

    Why Do Drivers In Los Angeles Speed?

    Los Angeles is often characterized as a fast-paced city. The environment it encourages may affect how people drive. Here are some other factors that may contribute to speeding in Los Angeles:

    Legal Consequences of Speeding in Los Angeles

    • Traffic – LA has some of the worst traffic in the United States. According to a study by INRIX in 2021, the city is the sixth most congested in the country. To avoid traffic, some would go over the speed limit to prevent being late for work. Delays caused by heavy traffic can also lead drivers to compensate by rushing and exceeding the speed limit.
    • Lack of awareness – Newer or younger drivers often lack awareness of the dangers of speeding. They underestimate stopping distances and their ability to control their vehicles and disregard speed limits.
    • Influence – Societal norms influence some drivers. If they see other drivers speeding and getting away with it, they could easily overlook the risks and exceed the speed limit themselves.
    • Thrill-seeking –Unfortunately, some drivers enjoy the thrill of driving at high speeds. They might feel exhilaration or satisfaction and be willing to risk their and other people’s safety to experience what they felt again.
    • Peer pressure – Some drivers, particularly teenagers, might feel compelled to impress their friends or participate in dangerous activities, like speeding and racing. This is one of the many topics parents must discuss with their teens regarding safe driving.
    • Alcohol or drugs – These substances negatively affect one’s ability to make safe decisions. As such, impaired drivers are more likely to engage in reckless driving behaviors like speeding.

    Why Is Speeding Dangerous?

    We know that speeding puts the safety of drivers, passengers, other road users, and pedestrians at risk. But what exactly makes it so dangerous?

    Increased Stopping Distance

    According to NHTSA, a car’s stopping distance at 50 mph is 221 feet. When a vehicle accelerates to 60 mph, it’s increased to 292 feet. This means that a mere 20% increase in speed led to a 44% longer stopping distance. What if a car goes even faster, like 80 to 100 mph? The time and distance needed to brake safely are going to be way higher, and chances are, drivers won’t be able to assess these factors accurately on the fly. As such, they are at a much higher risk of rear-ending other vehicles and hitting crossing cars at an intersection.

    Reduced Reaction Time

    Even if a speeding driver can precisely calculate when they should stop in normal driving conditions, they could still cause collisions in unexpected situations. For example, they might not be able to react in time to go around a road hazard that could have been avoidable at low speeds.

    Loss Of Control

    Accidents can happen anytime

    Higher speeds also increase the likelihood of losing control of the vehicle, especially in slippery road conditions or around bends and curves. Speeding might generate a much greater force than the grip of the tires on the road, potentially leading to collisions and run-off-road incidents.

    Reduced Visibility

    The faster a driver travels, the more their field of vision narrows. This makes it harder to see road obstacles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and potential hazards, severely limiting the driver’s ability to avoid a collision. This risk is heightened on rainy days and in low-light conditions, where visibility is already low enough to cause problems.

    Increased Impact In A Collision

    As discussed, the force generated increases exponentially with speed. When speeding cars collide with another object, the damage is greater.

    Although vehicles have safety features like seat belts and airbags, all of these can lose their function when speed is a factor. Even with a seat belt, the force of a collision could crumple the car and cause serious injuries.

    Another factor that could affect the force of impact is the size of the vehicle involved. If the collision is between vehicles with a huge disparity in weight and size, the occupants of the smaller one are more likely to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.

    Due to their lack of protection, pedestrians and bicyclists are at greatest risk. A vulnerable human body is unlikely to survive if a collision is strong enough to damage a heavy vehicle.

    Legal Consequences Of Speeding In Los Angeles

    Going over the speed limit typically leads to fines, which vary depending on how fast the car is going. For example, driving 15 miles per hour over the limit can lead to a fine ranging from $35 to $100. The driver would also incur other penalties, such as:

    • Points on the driving record
    • Driver’s license suspension (for severe offenses)
    • Traffic school
    • Court appearance (required for excessive speeding)

    The driver could face civil or criminal charges if this violation leads to an accident.

    In civil cases like personal injury lawsuits, at-fault drivers may have to compensate the victim for their damages and losses. Meanwhile, they could face prison time if they are found guilty of a criminal charge.

    How Is Los Angeles Combating Speeding-Related Accidents And Fatalities?

    Los Angeles is employing various initiatives to curb injuries and fatalities related to speeding, such as:

    • The Hollywood Boulevard Safety and Mobility Project by the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) aims to install safety and mobility improvements along Gower Street and at the intersections of Fountain Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. According to LADOT, the location was chosen after 53 severe and fatal collisions from 2010 to 2019.
    • A new law – written by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom this year – implements a five-year camera pilot program to run in six California cities. Glendale, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco will be putting up speed cameras in certain high-injury networks across the cities. These devices would then capture the license plates of speeding cars, and tickets would be sent to registered vehicle owners.
    • Mayor Eric Garcetti has also signed an ordinance that will bring speed limits down by five mph on nearly 180 miles of LA streets. The ordinance was passed by the City Council in January and signed by Mayor Garcetti in February.
    • Moreover, the city of Los Angeles has installed more speed humps and signals and redesigned streets to help make them safer for every motorist, pedestrian, and bicyclist.

    In addition, LADOT is also encouraging residents and visitors to report excessive speeding, reckless driving, or street racing at (877) 275-5273.

    Can New Technology Prevent Speeding-Related Accidents?

    In a way, innovations in vehicle safety can help curb speed-related accidents. New technological advancements can now assist drivers in avoiding speeding by issuing warnings when they exceed the speed limit. Car manufacturers use sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence (AI) to promote safer driving practices.

    One such innovation is Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which are intelligent systems that help drivers prevent accidents and injuries. These systems provide information regarding congestion levels, road closures and blockages, pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, lane departure warning and correction, and automatic emergency braking.

    Tips To Avoid Speeding And Promote Safer Driving Habits

    Safe Driving Tips to Avoid Speeding

    Here are some tips to help you drive safely:

    • Plan your journey ahead of time to avoid feeling rushed. Know which areas are congested at what time and look for alternative routes to avoid heavy traffic.
    • Always obey speed limits, especially posted ones.
    • Slow down if it’s raining or the road conditions are poor.
    • Always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Stay alert and monitor your surroundings. Anticipate potential hazards and be prepared to take the proper steps to avoid them.
    • Do not use your phone, and avoid anything that will distract you from the road. Keep your focus on driving safely.
    Organizations And Resources To Promote Speed Awareness

    The LADOT is one of the main institutions dedicated to making the streets of LA safer for everyone. They offer information on speed limits, traffic safety initiatives, and ongoing programs that Angelenos should know.

    LA-based Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. SAFE offers awareness campaigns, community outreach, and support for those affected by traffic accidents.

    Roadway safety organizations like the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also have resources for every driver in the United States.

    Injured In A Speed-Related Accident? Consult Our Personal Injury Lawyers Today!

    Dealing with the aftermath of a fatal speed-related accident is among the hardest things any family has to go through. Although no amount can bring back a family member, not worrying about the financial consequences of a car accident can help you move forward.

    That’s also why our Los Angeles car accident lawyers offer their top-notch legal assistance on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay any upfront payments. Instead, we take a certain percentage of the compensation you’ll receive. Arash Law also has a “no win, no fee” policy. You don’t have to pay anything if we don’t win your case.

    Our team of dedicated Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help protect your rights and get you maximum compensation. Whether you’re in Santa Clarita, Glendale, Lancaster, Palmdale, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, Downey, West Covina, El Monte, Inglewood, Burbank, Norwalk, or other locations in LA, our law firm is available 24/7 to assist you. We will answer your questions and concerns and guide you through the process of filing a claim. Call us today at (888) 488-1391 for a free case review.

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    DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this blog is not formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this page be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always obtain a free and confidential case evaluation from a reputable attorney near you if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.

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