Significance of L.A. Ranking Worst in Traffic

By Michael P. Ehline, Esq. – Congratulations, Los Angeles wins again. Well not really. Again this year, Los Angeles has claimed top honors for having the worst traffic in the United States on the annual congested traffic study. The Inrix company data shows that many people in Los Angeles believe that traffic in L.A. is the worst in the country and the freeways are the most crowded.

Significance to Consumers of Bad LA Traffic?

The significance of this, is that there are a lot of violent collisions on the roads here in the City of Angels and greater Los Angeles areas. Even more significant, is that there are bottom feeders like cappers, runners, and ambulance chasing PI attorneys everywhere. Heck, sometimes they even get the addresses of the people who were hurt, and send them letters offering to be their lawyer. This is a turn off to most poor devil’s who are down and out from a bad crash. We will discuss methods of locating an excellent car accident attorney later. Right now, we will focus on accident avoidance and things to look out for when cruising the streets and freeways.

Avoiding a Collision in Los Angeles Requires Forethought

There are certain times that it is better to not commute. According to the study, Angelinos claim a bad time to drive home is Friday afternoon. The facts relate that Los Angeles drivers spent approximately 59 hours sitting in traffic during 2012, according to the study data, which equals about two and a half days. Obviously, boredom sets in.

It is tempting for any motorist to use their cell phone, or send a text, or retrieve one. Hands free or not, a distraction is a distraction. While this report is more about Los Angeles, it is clear that population density, jobs, and location are directly connected to number of wrecks and bad traffic. In fact, the city that rated second for the worst traffic is Honolulu, where drivers spent nine hours or less sitting in traffic, the city was also rated bad previously for traffic jams.

Los Angeles is not the only California city that made the top ten list for traffic congested freeways, San Francisco was took third place and San Jose made seventh place in the study. The Inrix study data showed that it takes Los Angeles commuters over an hour to reach home on a Friday afternoon. Another fact is that Los Angeles has 35 of the 162 most congested sections of highway nationwide. Four of the L.A. freeways made it into the country’s top 10 most congested highways; the southbound 405, northbound 405, southbound 5 and the eastbound 10 Freeways.

For a long time economists have claimed that the state of the economy is linked with the amount of traffic on the road. Their theory is when there are more jobs, there are more people driving. According to Inrix, the traffic in Los Angeles got worse, because approximately 90,000 jobs were created. The study report did have one good change, which is the fact that the 13 mile stretch of highway on the northbound 405 between the 105 and Getty Center Drive went from the most congested freeway nationwide to number 8 for the most congested freeways.

The one change that may have reduced its rating is carpool lanes that have been added. This is a road I drive on all time. I have had so many close calls, and have seen so many accidents, I can see how it would be tempting for an accident attorney to pull over and offer their services. Of course, this is illegal in California and most other states, and is known as “ambulance chasing” in the vernacular. The data company Inrix tracks and analyzes traffic data. The company has a smartphone app that drivers can see where and what caused highways to be congested.

The study report stated that traffic most likely will not improve and in the first months of 2013 traffic congestion increased 6 percent over the same period in 2012. The report also said that after a two-year decline nationwide, traffic has increased. Reasons for the decline were clearly due in part to high fuel costs. But in my opinion, many people elected to bite the bullet and stopped car pooling. It is just too inconvenient. Thus, traffic rates, of course are going ever increase. So in closing, the best way to stay safe, is to telecommute, or stay off the roads during rush hour.

If you cannot do that, you must be extra attentive, especially during long, boring commutes. Don’t put on makeup, text, fidget with the radio, and give your self a nice cushion of space, to enable you to maneuver out of an injurious, or deadly situation. The significance of L.A. Being the worst in traffic is that you have to be on your best lookout and take it upon yourself to make it a true City of Angels.  

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About Author


Ehline Michael
Michael Ehline is a prolific blogger on California and international tort law. He has been a guest on CNN, discussed in major news publications like Forbes, Circle of Legal Trust, Personal Injury Warriors, and International Cruise Victims. He has lobbied congress on behalf of injured consumers, served as a United States Marine, and won millions of dollars for his clients. This blog discusses Ehline's insights and musings on all aspects of negligence law as it relates to all things "accidents." Ehline can be reached at (213) 596-9642.