In 2020, daily traffic on the roads dropped everywhere in the nation. In nearby Los Angeles, daily traffic volumes averaged anywhere from 30% to 50% below normal, although it sometimes dropped as much as 70%.
Logically, traffic accidents and deaths in the area should have fallen, too. Instead, they remained virtually unchanged. Experts say that traffic violence is to blame.
What is traffic violence?
Essentially, it’s the “need for speed” that seems to take over some drivers when they’re out on the roads trying to get to their next destination. The relatively wide-open streets encouraged more than a few motorists to drive faster, whether they were simply relishing the relative freedom they found on the empty roads or were simply impatient travelers.
Coupled with poorly designed roads that don’t take into account pedestrian traffic or cyclists and roads that have been neglected until they’ve become dangerous to travel, speeding led to more serious traffic accidents than the normal fender-benders. In turn, that kept the car wreck fatality rates high.
Disturbingly, a deeper dive into the statistics indicates that people of color suffer most from the inequities in traffic accidents — both before and during 2020. Black people only make up about 9% of the overall population in the area, but they comprised 16% of all traffic fatalities from 2013 to 2017. That indicates that the most serious flaws when it comes to urban roadway development are in typically Black areas.
Officials throughout the state of California are trying to find ways to address the problems with traffic violence, but they’re struggling against a lot of ingrained cultural habits among drivers and decades of urbanization that didn’t take into account the needs of whole segments of the population. Change will, at best, be slow to come.
What can you do if you’ve been injured in a car crash?
Anybody can be involved in a car wreck — no matter how careful you are. This is especially true when you consider the number of flagrant speeders that are out there on the roads. If you’ve been injured, you have every right to expect fair compensation for your losses, and an experienced advocate can help you obtain it.