Covid-19 Restrictions to Stay-at-Home Result in Fewer Pedestrian Accidents
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2021) — Pedestrian accidents in the Los Angeles area declined by 70 percent last year amid the coronavirus pandemic compared to the previous year, according to a report released by the University of Southern California.
After years of recording steadily increasing pedestrian accidents between 2015 and 2019, some 1,135 pedestrians were struck by vehicles in traffic accidents in 2020 compared to 3,733 who were hit in 2019, according to Crosstown LA, a nonprofit news site based at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism.
The year began with more than 316 pedestrian collisions in January, by February there were 140 crashes and less than 100 in March. Indeed, for the first few months of the year, pedestrian collisions remained high as in past years. However, by March 19th, amid the Safer at Home lockdown order, the number of pedestrian collisions sharply declined. For the remainder of the year, pedestrian accidents remained under 100 per month through December with the lowest reported at 57 crashes, the report said.
Fewer motorists on the roadway last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic was the likely reason for the declines, according to John Yi, executive director of Los Angeles Walks. The pedestrian advocacy group promotes improved street design and better infrastructure as a means to reduce pedestrian accidents and deaths.
Top 5 Deadliest Streets in Los Angeles for Pedestrians in 2020
The deadliest street in Los Angeles was Western Avenue with 32 fatal pedestrian-vehicle crashes. The other Los Angeles streets with the most fatalities in 2020 were Vermont Avenue with 17 deaths; Figueroa Street, 16; Sunset Boulevard, 15; Broadway in downtown LA had 14 pedestrian deaths.
Vision Zero Plan
In 2015, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti approved a 10-year plan to eliminate pedestrian traffic deaths by building safer streets. However, the Vision Zero plan has yet to accomplish its goal with fatal pedestrian traffic accidents up by 55 percent as of 2019, Crosstown reported. In fact, Crosstown reports that between 2015 and 2019, total annual pedestrian-vehicle collisions in Los Angeles increased from 3,417 to 3,733.
Meanwhile, the pandemic finally reversed the trend with pedestrian traffic-related deaths down 57 percent in 2020.
Under the city’s Vision Zero plan reports on its website that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation installed 3,000 safer crosswalks, traffic signals, speed humps and intersection improvements.
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