Are Los Angeles drivers the worst in the country? A new study suggests they may be. Los Angeles is a dangerous city in which to drive. Many people have long complained about how badly people drive in Los Angeles, and their complaints have been validated by the findings of a recent study. According to the Allstate America’s Best Driver Report, Los Angeles ranked a dismal 193 out of 200 cities, demonstrating the problematic driving behaviors that are engaged in by L.A. drivers. In addition to the property losses caused by bad driving, many people are seriously injured or killed in the city each year because of bad driving. People who are injured and the families of victims who are killed because of bad driving by others may pursue compensation by filing civil lawsuits against the negligent drivers who caused their accidents or those of their loved ones.
The Allstate study showing Los Angeles drivers some of the worst in the country
Allstate looked at data from 200 U.S. cities in order to determine which cities had the best drivers and which had the worst. The company made their determinations based on the average number of years that drivers in the cities went between accidents. Los Angeles drivers average 5.9 years between accidents, placing the city near the bottom for the driving behaviors of its motorists. Kansas City, Kansas took the number one spot for safe driving. Drivers in that city average 14.9 years between accidents. The city with the worst drivers was Boston. Drivers there average just 3.6 years between accidents. The study points to the need for drivers to exercise caution while driving. There are several problematic driving behaviors that are engaged in by many Los Angeles motorists that can lead to accidents that injure others. These driving problems are prohibited by California law and are evidence of negligence when accidents result.
One of the most common driving behaviors that can lead to accidents is speeding. Speeding is prohibited under California Vehicle Code § 22350 and includes driving faster than the posted speed limit or faster than what is reasonably prudent because of the traffic, weather or other conditions. Despite this law, many drivers in Los Angeles regularly speed, placing themselves and others in danger.
Despite many public awareness campaigns, some drivers still choose to drive while they are intoxicated. California Vehicle Code § 23152(a)-(f) prohibits drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal limit for drivers in the state is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 for per se violations and 0.04 for commercial drivers. Even if a driver has a blood alcohol concentration that is lower than the per se limits, he or she may still be guilty under the statute if the driver is impaired by the alcohol. The statute also prohibits drivers from driving under the influence of drugs.
Following too closely
Anyone in Los Angeles who has had the pleasure of driving on one of the area freeways or on nearly any one of the city’s major thoroughfares has had plenty of experience dealing with drivers who follow too closely. It is illegal for drivers to drive too closely behind other vehicles under California Vehicle Code § 21703. Drivers are supposed to maintain a reasonable distance from other cars, and if they do not, they risk causing rear-end collisions that may cause serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicles in front of them.
Texting or talking on a phone while driving
In California, drivers are prohibited from talking on their cell phones or texting while driving if the devices are handheld. They are also prohibited from using any other handheld communications device under California Vehicle Code § 23123.5. Despite this law, many drivers around Los Angeles continue to use their handheld phones and other electronic devices, placing both them and others in danger.
Not signaling when changing lanes or turning
Many drivers regularly change lanes abruptly or fail to signal their intentions to do so. It is illegal for drivers in California to change lanes if it is not safe to do so and to fail to use their turn signals when doing so under California Vehicle Code § 22107.
Other unsafe driving behaviors
There are numerous other unsafe driving behaviors that are illegal in California but which drivers still routinely engage in. These include unsafe entrances and exits onto and off of the various freeways and thoroughfares across Los Angeles, driving on bicycle paths, aggressive driving, speed contests and many others. All of these problematic driving behaviors are illegal specifically to keep others on the roads safe. Drivers in Los Angeles and in the state have duties to exercise reasonable caution while they are driving. When this duty is violated by a driver who is engaging in prohibited driving behavior that causes an accident, injured victims may file personal injury lawsuits against the driver for his or her negligence.
Through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, injured victims and the families of those who are killed may hold the negligent drivers liable for their actions. This may allow them to recover compensation for the losses that they have suffered as a result of the accidents. The damages that may be available will depend on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, but the damages might include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Reductions in the quality of life
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases
Damages in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are meant to make the victims and the families whole.
Contact an attorney
If you have been injured in an accident or your loved one has been killed, you may need legal help. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney might help you to maximize your recovery amount so that you can get the compensation that you deserve for your losses.