If you have been living in Southern California for a while, you may have noticed a significant drop in gas prices in the past months. Indeed, gas stations around greater Los Angeles are offering gas at prices up to 40% cheaper than they were earlier in 2014. This has raised some concern for proponents of public transit in Los Angeles County, as they worry that a drop in gas prices will mean more people return to using their vehicles to make their commute. But according to a recent Los Angeles Times article, experts say that drops in gas prices do not really affect rates of individuals using public transit because the large majority of people who use public transit do not have access to a vehicle in the first place. In fact, according to an expert, the fall in gas prices has only affected ridership by zero to two percentage points. Of course, as the economy continues to improve, perhaps more individuals will start buying cars, but then the effect on ridership will be due to the condition of the economy, not the price of gas.
The rates of people in Southern California using public transit will likely have an effect on the rates of personal injury litigation in Southern California. More people using cars on the road means an increased chance that someone will make a mistake and cause an accident. And of course, where someone’s mistake on the road causes an accident that results in injury to another driver, the driver who was negligent will more likely than not be facing a personal injury lawsuit. If Southern California’s public transit system continues to expand as it has been over the past few years, it will be interesting to see whether personal injury suits decrease.