Los Angeles is still the most congested city in the world according to INRIX’s 11th Annual Report, with LA locals spending an average of 104 hours per year stuck in peak hour traffic.
Almost every LA local relies on their car, and anger only boils as it takes 2-3 times as long as it should make our daily commute. After a previous Mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa, was hit by a taxi while on his bike, a new culture began to blossom within the city limits: cycling.
Since 2011, with his implementation of additional bike lanes more alternative transport has begun to spring up around the city. Several scooter companies have now launched which allow people to hire scooters with their phone and go anywhere they please. Now with scooters, bicycles, and cars clogging up the roadways pedestrians are at more risk than ever.
The LA Food Chain Flux
It is creating a food chain of terror so to speak, and pedestrians are at the bottom of it. Auto drivers are stressed out and losing more of their road day by day with traffic only getting worse. The cyclists are not obeying the road rules as they try to avoid cars and keep moving quickly along so as not to hold up traffic. Scooters are too afraid to use the bike lanes and often end up opting for the footpath. The poor pedestrians are at the bottom of that food chain, needing to avoid all others in order to survive. It has never been this dangerous for a pedestrian in Los Angeles.
From 2007 to 2016, the number of pedestrians killed while walking has increased by 27% according to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s report. The fault isn’t only with the cars, scooters, and bikes, it is also with pedestrians. We all want to get where we are going as safe and fast as possible. Unfortunately, we are all glued to our phones more and more by the day and paying less attention to the roads. Make sure you have great insurance so that you can not only take care of yourself and your car, but are also covered for uninsured motorists, or heaven forbid, a hit and run.
Communication Is Key
Los Angeles drivers are notorious for not using their signal when turning or changing lanes. A study conducted by The Society of Automobile Engineers reports that drivers who misuse their signal cause twice as many accidents than distracted drivers do. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you are on the streets and think you are not being seen, don’t shy away from making noise. Don’t be afraid to use your horn, or bell, or your voice. There is always so much going on around us, we are all constantly distracted, so be vocal and return the focus to yourself if you think someone does not see you.
And last, but definitely not least, be respectful. We are all on the same roads trying to get to the same places: to work for our livelihood, to see our families, to live our lives well. That guy in the car in front of you that is checking his phone and doesn’t see the green light, just give him a friendly beep and smile.
Cassandra Winter is a professional writer and editor. After a career in PR for an arts charity, she now focuses on writing about her favourite topics from public art to restoration and events. When not working she loves swimming, hiking and quiet nights in with her family.