In Orange County and throughout Southern California, some roads pose more of a threat to motorists than others. With more than 24 million people having a state-issued driver’s license, according to the United States Census Bureau, along with millions of tourists and vacationers who visit the area each year, car accident attorneys in Southern California understand that certain highways across the area are known as dangerous areas for drivers.
What are some of California’s most dangerous highways?
- California State Route 138. This infamous stretch of highway located west of Interstate 15 and east of Palmdale earned nicknames such as the “highway of death” and “blood alley” for the frequency of which fatal accident occurred. While 2006 road construction lowered the highway’s average of ten fatalities and 175 injuries per year, negligent drivers can still cause an accident in a moment’s notice.
- Interstate 15. A 180-mile stretch of highway connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, I-15 has an estimated 8 million drivers every year. Drunk driving and distracted driving have proven to be major safety issues on this stretch of highway, which averages more than 31 car accident fatalities every year. Furthermore, statistics indicate that approximately half of fatal car accident victims were not wearing seat belts at the time of their crash.
- Interstate 5. “The 5,” as it’s known to Californians, is the major freeway running between San Diego and points northward that sees up to a million drivers each day. One of I-5’s most dangerous intersections is known as “the merge” and infamous for its quick decrease in traffic lanes and sudden stop-and-go traffic patterns, leading to potentially fatal, high-speed rear-end accidents.
- Interstate 10. Passing through Southern California and running into Phoenix, Arizona, I-10 sees some of the highest traffic volumes of any road or highway in the state. With so many drivers from Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Santa Monica sharing the road with one another, speeding, distracted driving and drunk driving can cause a serious crash in a matter of seconds.
Preventing highway accidents in Orange County
While many causes of car accidents are well-documented and drivers are aware of what’s safe and unsafe behind-the-wheel, many drivers still choose to ignore the law and engage in risk-taking behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2013 alone, representation an average of more than eight people per day. Furthermore, statistics indicate that 32 percent of fatal accident involved a speeding driver and 28.9 percent of fatal accidents involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
While some roads or highways may be poorly designed, which can lead to accidents, in most cases a car wreck is caused by driver error. Many of the state’s fatal car, truck and motorcycle accidents are preventable. That’s why it’s so critical for all drivers to remain aware, alert and distraction-free when sharing the road with others. A failure to do so could result in not only a serious accident, but injury victims may have a right to recover compensation for their losses.