As Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers, we have see the number of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles increase over the last six years. However, thanks to a renewed commitment to traffic safety (and an influx of discretionary dollars), Los Angeles is finally getting the foot-friendly makeover it deserves one district at a time. The latest target of the city’s commitment to zero traffic fatalities is the iconic Fashion District. Plans were recently unveiled for a million dollar safety upgrade through the heart of this high-population neighborhood. But will all the safety improvements have the desired effect?
High Impact Changes for Three-Blocks of Los Angeles Street
So what does a $1.7 million price tag buy pedestrians in the Fashion District?
The city’s new vision for the three-block stretch of Los Angeles Street between 7th Street and Olympic boulevard is nothing short of ambitious. They’ll be:
- Replacing the decrepit sidewalk on both sides of the street
- Making room for 26 new trees to add breathing room for folks on foot
- Rebuilding 14 access ramps to bring them up to current safety and accessibility standards
- And adding two manicured pedestrian bumpouts to bring a little greenery and visibility to the area.
The Simplest Changes Could Have the Most Impact
Re-engineering is great but increased visibility is key to decreasing the number of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles. The number one thing accident investigators (and our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys) hear from at fault drivers is that they simply did not see the person walking in front of them before it was too late. That’s true for drivers of all sorts of vehicles from compact cars to municipal buses.
So what’s LA Planning to do about that? Change a few light bulbs! Well, maybe it’s a little more significant than that.
They’re upgrading the lighting at six pedestrian bus stops inside The Fashion district with new high-output LED lighting to make people at the stops and in the street near the stops more visible (especially at dawn and dusk—two of the most dangerous times to be on city streets.)
But could something as simple as improved lighting really save lives?
One study conducted by researchers in Sweden found that adding street lights could decrease the risk of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles by as much as 49% . . . if drivers play their part. The report, which collected data from multiple studies from around the world, found that when the visibility on streets in urban areas was increased, drivers actually drove faster.
Safety Improvements Don’t Eliminate Responsibility
The researchers mentioned above concluded that as roads were redesigned to be safer, drivers automatically downgraded their personal risk of being involved in an accident (and compensated by driving faster). This mindset could be detrimental to any street improvement projects here in LA. However, if the city’s Vision Zero program is effective in helping to make a mental shift in a significant portion of people who get behind the wheel, those redesign projects could have a tremendous effect.
What Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Say
The bottom line is that drivers are at fault for the majority of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles. Speeding, failure to yield, and distracted driving have all contributed to the catastrophic increase in fatal and non-fatal crashes. If drivers choose to (or are made to) take responsibility for their actions, it could improve street safety for everyone in LA.
Sally Morin and her team of experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers have been helping seriously injured pedestrian accident victims get the compensation they deserve in and out of court for over a decade. If you have been hurt by a careless, reckless, or distracted driver you need help fast to put your life back together and get back on your feet.
Indeed, we have helped secure great accident settlements for victims in pedestrian accidents all over LA. Want to learn how to maximize your potential insurance settlement?