According to research conducted by federal transportation officials, California's 405 Freeway is the busiest in the U.S. The news of the interstate's dubious honor was reported recently by CBS Local Los Angeles. The federal research which led to the report also indicated motorists drove 84.7 billion miles on highways in California over the course of just a single year. This distance is more than 900 times the distance it would take to get from the sun to the Earth.
The 405 is not the only interstate in Southern California that is heavily trafficked. I-5 is also one of the busiest interstates in the country, as it connects the capital cities of Washington, Oregon, and California, along with other major California cities including San Diego and Los Angeles.
Because these California interstates have so much traffic and congestion, there is a substantial risk of traffic accidents happening on the I-5 and I-405. In particular, there is a big risk of truck accidents on both the I-5 and I-405.
Why are Truck Accidents So Common on the I-5 and I-405?
There are many reasons why the congestion on the I-5 and I-405 can cause traffic accidents. One big problem is the sheer number of trucks that travel these roads. I-5 is the main highway in the west coast interstate system, and I-405 is the main highway connecting parts of Southern California. Since these interstates are major thoroughfares, trucks must travel them frequently to move goods and raw materials across the state and across the country. With so many trucks traveling on a particular road comes a greater potential for highway truck accidents.
The congestion also means trucks and other vehicles are often in close proximity. The closer together trucks and cars are while moving, the greater the potential for truck accidents and other types of motor vehicle crashes. Trucks have very long stopping distances resulting from their large size. Since trucks take longer to stop, being in a tight and condensed area can pose a real problem. If truckers don't have enough time to stop when something goes wrong, they could hit these other vehicles.
Tightly packed cars can also be trouble for truckers, as this may mean more cars are in the blind spots existing on all four sides of large rigs and tractor trailers.
Truck drivers need to accommodate for the higher risk conditions on California's congested interstates and need to make sure they are doing everything possible to avoid causing collisions on I-5 and I-405. If accidents happen, victims must know what their rights are for pursuing claims against truckers and trucking companies who cause crashes on the interstate.