It’s Safer to Ride Bicycles in LA During COVID-19
One silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic is that the roads in Los Angeles are safer for bicycle riders.
According to data from the Los Angeles Police Department, the number of collisions between cars and bikes in the Los Angeles area has gone down significantly since the beginning of the shutdown in March of 2020.
In fact, bike and car accidents have dropped almost 71% when compared to this time last year. A one-week period in April of 2020 has just two bicycle and car collisions, while the same week in 2019 had 43.
Why is biking safer?
This increase in biking safety makes sense. The coronavirus pandemic caused major shutdowns throughout the Los Angeles area. Businesses closed and offices turned to work from home, meaning less cars on the road. The result is not only a reduced number of accidents but more room to manuever for bicycles. The LAPD reported that car accidents went down from 32 per week to 16.
While the COVID-19-related decrease in traffic is playing a large role in making the roads safer for cyclists, the data has been showing a decrease in bike accidents even before the pandemic hit. A Crosstown study showed that accidents between bikes and cars dropped 5% from 2018 to 2019.
Keep the trend going
With many commuters fearful of using public transportation because of a lack of social distancing on crowded buses and trains, Angelinos are turning to their bikes. Many are hoping that the city will adjust to this trend and install more bike lanes and other cycling safety measures.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation seems to be listening. LADOT has begun work on almost 28 miles of new or improved bike lanes. The city is implementing protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th streets, upgrading an existing lane on Olive Street with new protections, enhancing bike lane connections on the First Street Bridge, and building 12 miles of new bike lanes on Avalon Boulevard.
These new bike lanes and rider protections are key for essential workers that don’t have access to cars and don’t feel safe on public transportation.
Accidents still happen
While these bike safety statistics and new bike lane projects are heartening, accidents still happen.
When interviewed for a Crosstown article, Los Angeles cyclist Sean Meredith said, “it’s generally safer…until it’s not. Fewer cars on the road, but the cars out there are going faster and are less attentive.”
Meredith was speaking to the biggest danger for LA cyclists: driver negligence. Even with a reduced number of cars on the road, all it takes is one distracted, impaired, or otherwise negligent driver to injure or even kill a biker.
Were you, a family member, or other loved one hurt in a bike accident? If so, you have hope for compensation. Ellis Injury Law has a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys that have experience in bike accident litigation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve to help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Speak with a knowledgeable Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer today. Call Ellis Injury Law to learn more about our bike accident services or to schedule a free consultation.