Daily Traffic Alerts

Spike in LA Traffic Deaths Even With Less Traffic Thanks to COVID-19

Interstate 405 and 10 during rush hour in Los Angeles
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Los Angeles city streets were considered a dangerous place even before the COVID-19 outbreak. This was especially true for pedestrians and bikers. At first, the “Safer at Home” orders helped to produce a lull in traffic collisions. But, that is no longer the case.

Traffic Fatalities in Los Angeles Continue Rising Despite ‘Safer-at-Home’ Orders

Even though there was a period of fewer cars on the road thanks to stay-at-home orders, the Los Angeles Police Department has revealed that traffic fatalities are on par with the same time last year.

Commander Marc Reina of the LAPD’s Traffic Group said that so far this year, 86 people have lost their lives due to traffic collisions. He said this during a news conference on Thursday.

“To put that in perspective, year-to-date, 89 people have been the victim of homicide within the city of Los Angeles,” said Reina. “Even with the stay-at-home orders still in effect, we’re currently at the same amount of 2 fatalities that we had at this time last year.”

Related: Should You Wear a Mask to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 While Driving?

LAPD’s Traffic Group Offers a Simple Message for Drivers to Avoid Traffic Fatalities

Commander Reina offered a piece of simple advice to help keep drivers safe on the road:

“Please slow down. Put your cell phones down. Don’t be a distracted driver and be extremely mindful of your surroundings. Especially of the pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Reina spoke of the 86 people who have lost their lives this year, saying that nearly 60 percent of the victims–50 in total, were pedestrians. Three of the victims were bicyclists, and 14 of the victims were reportedly homeless.

Not only that, but police have also recorded more than 360 collisions that resulted in severe injuries.

Related: How Experts Believe Travel Will Change After the Coronavirus Outbreak Is Over

Traffic Started Spiking in Early April Resulting in Fatal Traffic Collisions

LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow revealed that while the city experienced a lull in fatalities resulting from traffic collisions when the stay-at-home orders were first put in place, they are now experiencing an increase of traffic-related deaths.

“But around the beginning of April, people started getting back on the road [and] going to work,” said Chow. “And we saw a significant spike in our fatal traffic collisions.”

Data from the L.A. Department of Transportation shows that more drivers have been enticed to speed citywide thanks to the open streets caused by having fewer cars on the road.

“What feels comfortable in a car feels very differently to people who are outside of a car riding a bike, or a scooter, or on foot,” said Dan Mitchell, chief engineer for LADOT. “It’s important that people are aware that we have more people out and about, and that they’re particularly vulnerable to people driving their car too fast.”

Related: Traffic Levels Rising in Spite of People Being Told to Stay at Home

DJ Swanson

D.J. Swanson never planned to be a writer. His first job was working in his family’s autobody shop, but after studying English and journalism in college, he decided not to join the family business.

Instead, D.J. realized that he could make a difference by helping people learn how to maintain their cars and drive safely in challenging conditions. He is proud to share his lifelong knowledge of cars and driving here at Daily Traffic Alerts.

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