L.A. and U.S. Traffic Accident Statistics

Car Crash Stats Show a Rise
Bar chart of statistics on a white background with iPad.

[Updated July 8, 2021] – Many commuters have become injured in severe accidents all over California. Some have passed away. In fact, on average, every 40 or so hours, one person is killed in a Los Angeles traffic collision. Traffic wrecks are the number 3 cause of deaths and injuries in Los Angeles to this day. These wrecks include crashes on dilapidated California bridges or overhangs, for example.

Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys receive calls from potential new clients daily over someone getting in a crash on one of L.A’s busy surface streets. Other victims suffered harm driving on congested freeways, highways, and roadways. Many of these wrecks take place on the I-10 Freeway or I-105 Freeway.

  • Modernly, Los Angeles has the highest rate of injury-producing and fatal traffic accidents in the United States.

These accidents involved real people like you, just commuting about town. For instance, maybe you were traveling to Wilshire Boulevard on your way to work from your home in the Huntington Park area.

In any event, you Los Angeles locals are very familiar with the highway culture in Southern California. We need roads for almost everything we do. Because of this, Los Angeles has a reputation for the most congested roadway in America. With a high amount of traffic congestion comes a high amount of traffic collisions.

What About LA Rush Hour Traffic Congestion?

Weekday rush-hour traffic sees the most LA traffic congestion. As a result, the most significant wrecks take place during this time.

  • Many of these wrecks take place on the I-5, I-10, I-105, and I-405 freeways.

Driver Error Statistics Are Alarming.

  • At least 93% of vehicle collisions are due to driver error compared to roadway faults.

It doesn’t help that distracted drivers, along with the rising traffic in L.A., see more and more vehicles on the road yearly, according to the LADOT. Plus, car sales and vehicle registrations are rising throughout the Golden State. A few reasons for increased auto sales are low gas prices, cheaper cars, and a prosperous economy.

Most of all, vehicle operators are more and more distracted. Some of this is due to newly minted teens. But even adults are not safe when it comes to onboard technology like GPS, XMS type satellite radios, smartphones, and video conferencing apps like Skype.

What Are Some Grim Facts About Los Angeles Traffic Congestion?

  • Los Angeles County statistics show at least 5.8 million registered motor vehicles exist.
  • There are only a few states that have more registered motor vehicles than L.A. County.
  • At least 7.5 million vehicles go back and forth in Los Angeles.
  • In one year, L.A. drivers reach a little over 92 million miles.
  • There are thousands of miles of poorly maintained roadways in the county.
  • The California Department of Transportation says L.A. contains 527 miles of freeways, 382 of those miles need service and maintenance.
2010 showing 57,777 reported injuries in Los Angeles car accident cases. California Auto Accident Fatalities 0 2005 4,304 2006 4,197 2007 3,967 2008 3,401 2009 3,076 2010 2,739 2011 2,835 2012 2,995 California Auto Injuries 0 2005 292,798 2006 277,574 2007 266,687 2008 241,873 2009 232,777 2010 229,354 2011 225,602 2012 226,554
Statistical Chart – Los Angeles Traffic Accidents

Los Angeles Traffic Accidents 2010 Chart was created with data from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The above graph uses data from 2010—source: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

  • In 2014, Los Angeles saw around 46,500 traffic accidents. (Source.)
  • In 2015, 52,000 car accidents were reported in LA city.
  • In 2016, 55,350 wrecks were reported as taking place in Los Angeles.
  •  Projected estimates for 2017 seem to indicate that the total will be even higher.

Welcome To Car Central – Discussion On Los Angeles Traffic Patterns.

Don’t drive in LA, or so you’re told. Myths and legends grow up around the city’s beltways and freeways, not to mention roads in the city limits itself. Altogether, these offer a car enthusiast both hours of pleasure and struggle waiting in traffic. The city and its environs are home to some of the best-preserved cars in the country.

There are many examples of vintage cars, lowriders, and more for you to peruse. However, even though the city was primarily built around the car, the traffic is often heavy. Not to worry, though! We’re here to give you a rough primer on the City of Angels and its traffic, so you’re prepared. Whether you’re moving here or just driving through, there’s a lot for you to consider.

What Are The Major L.A. Traffic Arteries?

You’ve probably heard all of the horror stories. Los Angeles is the king of all traffic. In many ways, that is true. The LA Times reported in 2016 that the city has the worst traffic in the nation. Some of the statistics are staggering. In many parts along the main stretch, people are stuck in traffic for over 100 hours per year. On top of this, the city has four of the world’s most congested highways.

These include the southbound 101 Freeway in between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Vignes Street. Also, this consists of the 5 Freeway between Highway 133 and Olympic Boulevard. Furthermore, there is the 10 Freeway between Santa Monica and Alameda Street. Last is the northbound 1010 between the 60 Freeway and Haskell Avenue.

For the 101 southbound, there are the worst delays of any in the greater LA area. For example, on Wednesdays at 8 pm, the average driver travels 17 miles per hour and spends almost an hour additional in their cars.
Drivers are likely to spend almost a week extra per year just in traffic. Those numbers are insane. The average wait time in Los Angeles is 81 hours a year, significantly above the next three competitors in Washington, San Francisco, and Houston.

Driving Directions from Topanga Canyon Blvd to Ehline Law Firm.
Drive 57 min (27.7 miles) via I-10 E from N Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga, CA 90290.

  • Continue to Santa Monica 24 min (12.5 mi)
  • Continue on I-10 E to Los Angeles.
  • Take the 6th st/9th St exit from CA-110 N/State 110 N 19 min (14.7 mi)
  • Take S Hope St to W 5th St 2 min (0.4 mi)
  • Arrive at Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC 633 W 5th St #2890, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

Driving Directions from Vignes Street to Ehline Law Firm.
Commute 11 min (1.9 miles) via E Temple St and N Grand Ave S Vignes St, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

  • Head north on S Vignes St toward E 1st St 0.2 mi
  • Turn left onto E Temple St 1.0 mi
  • Turn left onto N Grand Ave 0.7 mi
  • Turn right onto W 5th St
  • Destination will be on the right 282 ft.

What are the Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Statistics?

In addition to being dangerous to motorists, Los Angeles is also unsafe for pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicyclists.

  • Pedestrian accidents account for about 14% of traffic wrecks.
  • But there is around one-third of all traffic fatalities. 
  • In 2015, 2,386 pedestrians died in Los Angeles traffic accidents. These deaths are equivalent to the deaths in New York City, which has three times the L.A population.

What Are The LA Bicycle Accident Statistics?

  • In 2015, 2,162 bicyclists were injured or killed in a Los Angeles traffic accident.

What Are The Motorcycle Crash Stats For Los Angeles?

Motorcyclists are unsafe compared to passenger cars. 

Motorcycle Wrecks Account for:

  • 15% of L.A. traffic deaths.
  • 3% of L.A. City collisions.
  • Two thousand one hundred twenty-three motorcycle riders were killed or injured in wrecks in 2015.

What Steps Has LA Taken To Reduce Traffic Wrecks?

As noted above, injuries from accidents have been steadily rising for years. Politicians in LA have sponsored ideas to make more bike lanes and make them safer. And some cities now even let bikers ride on sidewalks to keep them out of the road.

But by far, the most considerable effort was made in 2016 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

  • What is Vision Zero?

Mayor Garcetti proclaimed in 2016 that Vision Zero would rapidly cause a reduction in accidents and deaths by at least 20%. Like most government-run programs, rather than help, it seems to have hurt LA traffic by 2017.

In fact, during that year alone, there was a 43% increase in traffic collision deaths. Sadly, by 2017 Vision Zero Los Angeles hearkened in 22% more traffic fatalities! Part of Vision Zero was learning about the causes of accidents.

Their car accident reports indicated that collisions happen most at dangerous intersections and road corridors. Presently, LA considers a 450 mile stretch of roads to be where most fatalities occur.

Thus, LA has thrown a lot of money into the problem to make the streets and cities safer. The city is widening sidewalks, adding barriers, medians, more signage warning of speed with flashing signs, and changing the phasing of existing traffic signals.  

And thanks to Vision zero, Los Angeles has the historical data of the most dangerous locations identified. So at least they can focus on fixing the worst places first?

What About Speeding And Its Role In LA Car Accidents?

Speeding means less reaction time for vehicle operators. Some argue that California’s speed trap laws prevent LAPD from using radar guns in LA’s most dangerous areas. But state law requires an expensive “traffic study” of the area patrolled.

These traffic studies are designed to understand speeding patterns. For now, the LAPD claims that the number of speeding tickets issued dropped from 100,000 tickets issued in 2010 to approximately 17,000 written in 2015.

What Can You Do To Avoid Becoming An LA Traffic Statistic?

Until the Los Angeles Transportation Department can make things safer, they remind commuters that driving safely can make a huge difference.  So as always, you should avoid playing with your radio or phone while going.

Avoid distractions, aim high in steering, and drive at a safe speed, even if it’s slower than the posted speed.  Things like potholes and debris can kill you and destroy your car. So always be scanning the roadway and utilizing your “cushion of space.”


A Sigalert is a Southern California creation to help drivers avoid congestion. It is a system named for Mr. Loyd Sigmon. Loyd invented an alert system. This alert system remains used by the government and municipal police like the LAPD. Modernly, Sigalerts are on traffic signs.

And they are heard all over the radio in So. Cal. Their design is to warn commuters of car crash pile-ups. The idea is to slow traffic by blocking over and above two traffic lanes. So if a wreck jams traffic for at least 2 hours, the CHP alerts here.


Our attorneys have many offices in the state of California. But our headquarters are in Los Angeles. However, we understand issues unique to CA motoring injuries. We are experts on the causes of auto deaths and accidents.

What are the California Roadway Fatality Statistics?

Statistics of CA car accidents deaths from 2010-2014. Year Injuries 0 2005 292,798 2006 277,574 2007 266,687 2008 241,873 2009 232,777 2010 229,354 2011 225,602 2012 226,554
California Auto Accident Fatalities. Statistical Chart.

Our accident attorneys have studied the rate of deaths from wrecks with focus. And we have worked with law enforcement and families of decedents. Many times, we use statistics like these to help jurors and adjusters.

Sadly, Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous cities for drivers and riders. California also has more registered motorcycles than any other state in the U.S. Plus. It is unsafe for pedestrians here compared to the rest of the U.S. For example, people on foot make up around 1/3 of all traffic fatalities.

Getting hit from the rear while stopped at a red light is a common way to get injured. Last, the Los Angeles County stretch of the I-5 and I-405 South Freeways are world-famous for sensational accidents.


  • Fatal harm in the U.S. in 1990 was at 2.1 deaths per million.
  • Recently this decreased to 1.1 deaths per million in 2009.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost $260.6 billion per year. Approx. $820 per person.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cause 2.35 million injuries and ailments each year.
  • In 2012, fatal crashes nationwide reached an average of 92 deaths per day. That’s an accident every 16 minutes.
  • During 2012, the total number of deaths was over 33,000.
  • The number of children under 15 that die each year in auto collisions is over 1,600.
  • The leading cause of death in ages 8 to 34 is auto collisions.

What Are Some Other Interesting Vehicle Accident Statistics?

How Do U.S. accident numbers compare worldwide?

Statistics involving auto crashes in the U.S. place Americans in the lead over the rest of the world. Across the globe, MVC’s lead to tragedy and heavy financial burdens to families and taxpayers.

In 2013, roadway injuries harmed at least 54 million people. During the same period, 1.4 million people died in wrecks. This number has steadily risen since 1990. Still worse, at least 68,000 vehicle deaths involved children less than five years old.

Much of this seems to hinge on the income rates of the countries involved. The higher the incomes have, the lower the death rates. But the middle-income countries have the highest death rates. To learn more, contact the Southern California injury lawyers at Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, at (213) 596-9642.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices

Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

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