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LAPD cites top five traffic violations that cause collisions

For anyone who has driven a car in Los Angeles, it should come as no surprise that a study by data company Inrix named the city as the worst in the United States for sitting in traffic for the fourth year in a row. According to the study, Los Angeles drivers spend an average of 81 hours in freeway traffic each year - about five less hours per year than Washington D.C. and San Francisco, the second and third worst traffic cities in the United States, respectively.

Contributing to LA's steadfast hold on this title is the fact that it is home to four of the world's most congested freeway sections; including the 10 Freeway between Santa Monica and Alameda, the 101 North between the 60 and Haskell Avenue, the 5 between Highway 133 in Orange County and Olympic Boulevard, and the 101 South between Topanga Canyon and Vignes Street.

Those who have sat in Los Angeles traffic know what a frustrating experience it can be. Adding to that stress is the possibility of danger - there were 3,074 traffic fatalities in California in 2014, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report.

While auto collisions continue to be an hourly occurrence in the greater Los Angeles area, there are ways to decrease your likelihood of becoming part of one. The Los Angeles Police Department lists the top five traffic violations that cause traffic collisions as: (1) 21703 (a) VC - Following too close; (2) 21453 (a) VC - Failing to stop for red signal lights; (3) 23152 (a) VC - Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; (4) 22350 VC - Speeding; and (5) 21801 (a) VC - Left turns. Taking caution to not drive too closely to other cars, stopping safely for all red stoplights, not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, avoiding speeding, and not making dangerous left turns can help avoid a costly or fatal accident.

If you are involved in an accident, take every precaution to protect yourself. If anyone is hurt, or any involved driver is intoxicated call 911 immediately. Additionally, you should contact the police if you are involved in a hit and run accident or any driver does not have a valid driver's license. Make sure to exchange all pertinent information with the other parties, including driver's license information, registration, insurance information, and contact numbers. If LAPD is on-scene and completes a traffic collision report, contact LAPD for a copy of the report. Most importantly, you should understand your legal rights, whether you are at fault for the accident or not. A lawyer with traffic collision experience can help to explore legal actions and explain your rights.

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