California has the nation’s busiest interstates. People drove more than 84.6 million miles on the Golden State’s highways in 2011—a distance equal to more than 900 times the distance from Earth to the Sun. California is also home to the first and second most traveled interstates in the country—the I-5 and 1-10, respectively.
Residents of Orange and Riverside Counties are well acquainted with interstate driving. The 1-5 and 1-10, along with several other interstates, pass through these counties, which are known as much for their traffic congestion as for their sunny skies. But backed up lines of cars, frustrating as they may be, do not present nearly the danger that cars moving along in excess of 70 miles per hour do.
Avrek Law is located just off the 405 freeway in Irvine. As commuters who navigate local interstates and lawyers who litigate cases resulting from interstate accidents, we have a special appreciation for how dangerous these roadways can be. If you suffered the misfortune of being injured in or worse, losing a loved one in, an interstate crash contact Avrek Law Firm, today for a free case evaluation. We will treat you with compassion and act aggressively on your behalf through the difficult time that follows a serious accident.
Deadly Roadways in and Around Irvine and Riverside
The United States Interstate Highway System is comprised of 46,876 miles of roadway. Some stretches of these roads are statistically much more dangerous than others. But surprisingly, it isn’t always the busiest roads that are the most dangerous. In fact, nearly 6 out of 10 traffic fatalities occur in rural areas despite these areas having only about 25% of the nation’s population.
This is good news for the urban populations of Irvine and Riverside. Less comforting, however, is the fact that some of America’s deadliest highways pass through or near these towns. The Daily Beast did the hard work of crunching numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and determined which interstates are most deadly. Included in the top five are the I-15 and the I-10, while I-5 cracks the top 35. A more detailed breakdown of these roads’ fatality statistics are provided below.
- I-15: Interstate 15 runs through 287 miles of California real estate, including Riverside County. From 2004 to 2008 the California section of I-15 was the site of 506 fatalities, or 1.58 fatal accidents per mile.
- I-10: Interstate 10 spans 243 miles of the Golden State and passes through Riverside County. It saw 506 fatalities from 2004 to 2008, the equivalent of 1.52 fatal accidents per mile.
- I-5: “The 5 Freeway” goes from Mexico to Canada and cuts an 800 mile north-south swath through California. The highway accounted for 800 fatalities (.85 fatal accidents per mile) between 2004 and 2008.
Other Local Interstates
- I-405: The 405 begins in Irvine and runs northwest to Long Beach. Notorious for traffic problems, the roadway has six sections among the most congested corridors in the country. A high volume of freight haulers presents particular danger to motorists.
- I-605: The San Gabriel River Freeway is a well-traveled north-south route that skirts the western limits of Orange County. There were 71 fatal Orange County motor vehicle accidents and 17,031 injury accidents in 2010 (all roads).
- I-215: An auxiliary route of I-15, Interstate 215 runs 54.5 miles from Murrieta to San Bernardino and deviates from SR 60 at State Route 91 in Riverside. On Riverside County roadways there were 164 motor vehicle deaths and 10,594 injuries in 2010.
Causes of Interstate Accidents
All driving is dangerous, but interstate driving presents some unique hazards, including:
- Speed: The top speed allowed on California’s highways is 70 mph, although 65 mph is more common. That doesn’t mean, however, that drivers stick to these limits. The American Automobile Association (AAA) 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index found that nearly half of drivers admitted to driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway in the past month. 1 in 4 respondents said, moreover, that it was acceptable to speed on freeways.
- Distractions: The NHTSA estimates that distracted driving resulted in crashes that caused 3,331 deaths and 387,000 injuries in 2011. Stopping distance is longer at higher speeds, and distractions can further reduce the amount of time it takes a driver to hit the brakes or take other defensive driving maneuvers.
- On and Off Ramps: Freeway entrance and exit ramps experience far more crashes per mile driven than other sections of interstate highways. Exit ramps (half of all ramp accidents) were found to be particularly dangerous by a 2004 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Work Zones: The Federal Highway Administration notes that a significant number of people are killed as a result of work zone crashes. There has been a boom in highway construction following the $27 billion economic stimulus package. Between 2004 and 2009 highway work zone accidents claimed 4,700 lives and injured 200,000 people. This can be attributed, in part, to the lack of laws regulating work zone safety measures.
Speak With an Experienced Irvine Interstate Accident Attorney
The results of a California interstate accident can be catastrophic and even deadly. But these types of accidents can be more complex than others, as they sometimes involve multiple drivers, out-of-state drivers, and heavily-regulated truck drivers.
Avrek Law Firm, attorneys are experienced with interstate accidents and understand all the possible nuances they present. We’ll navigate the legal system on your behalf and make sure you are justly compensated for any losses suffered. Receive a free case review by calling 1.888.333.5009 or submitting this form. Avrek Law Firm, serves the victims of motor vehicle accidents in Irvine, Orange County, Riverside, and Riverside County.
- The Daily Beast: America’s 100 Deadliest Highways
- NPR: The Deadliest Roads are Rural
- United States Department of Transportation: New FHWA Report Reveals States with the Busiest Highways
- California Highway Patrol: 2013 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions
- National Institutes of Health: Types and characteristics of ramp-related motor vehicle crashes on urban interstate roadways in North Virginia
- AAA: 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index
- CA.gov: California Driver Handbook—Laws/Rules of the Road
- Governors Highway Safety Association: 10 Tips for Managing Driver Distraction
- New York Times: Efforts Lag to Improve Safety at Work Zones
- U.S. Department of Transportation: Work Zone Considerations for Economic Recovery Project