Interstate 405 has been named the seventh worst Los Angeles freeway by Complex. Complex described the 405 Freeway as the freeway version of an: "old lady who keeps breaking her hip." The freeway earned this nickname because there is always something wrong on the freeway that needs to be fixed, and there is always construction somewhere. A "smooth ride" is not possible on this freeway on most days, and efforts to address issues with the 405 have led to problems in the past, including a 56 percent rise in accidents reported by Komo News when new tolls were added.
One big issue on the 405 is that cars are often packed closely together, and traffic can move very slowly at times. Under these conditions, it is common for slow-motion crashes to happen. These car accidents are often called fender benders and they are not typically considered to be very serious. Despite the reputation of a fender bender as a minor crash, it is important to realize that the consequences of these accidents are not always minor.
High traffic areas like the 405 are locations where lots of fender benders happen for a few different reasons. One issue is the close proximity and high density of vehicles. When cars are packed in tightly to each other, there is no room for a vehicle to go to avoid an obstacle in front of his car, including another vehicle unexpectedly stopped in his path. This can lead to both fender bender accidents where one car rear-ends another and to chain reaction crashes when a car hits another vehicle and pushes that lead vehicle into the car in front.
High traffic density also means that there is little room for error. It only takes a brief second for a car to stray from its lane or to fail to see the vehicle in front of it stop. If this happens and cars are packed tightly together, as they often are on the 405, an accident is far more likely to occur than on an emptier road where there is more room for error. Driver distraction is a big problem under high-traffic density circumstances, as a driver who looks down for a minute at his phone or at the car radio could cause a crash to happen.
The crashes are often slow-moving fender benders because of the fact the cars are often packed together in traffic, so the crashes happen at slower speeds. While it is common to assume a fender bender isn't a big problem since the force of the impact was low due to the slow speed, serious injuries do occur often in fender benders, including whiplash. It is important to report the accident, exchange insurance and contact information, get witness names, and alert the insurer to the fender bender just as you would with any other accident in case injuries do turn out to be serious.