The United States Census Bureau estimates that in 2013 there were 38,332,521 people living in California and out of those millions of residents, 24,643,432 have a state issued drivers license.
With so many drivers on the roadways at any given time, it’s no wonder California’s highways and interstates are notoriously congested and dangerous. A road in California may be deemed “dangerous” for many reasons, including the condition of the road, its ease of navigability, or the documented poor driving behaviors of other motorists.
Whether you live in California or are just a traveling tourist, it’s important to be aware of some of the more dangerous roads and take proper precautions when traveling them.
I-15: Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the most dangerous stretches of highway, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 180-mile section has an estimated 8 million drivers every year and made Popular Mechanics “10 of America’s Most Dangerous Roads” list.
Over a 14-year period, 466 deaths took place on 1-15 and approximately half of those victims were not wearing seat belts. Many speculate that distracted and impaired driving is responsible for a large percentage of the car accidents on I-15.
I-5: Interstate 5 or “The 5” is one of the most dangerous highways in California. This major north-south freeway running along the coastline of San Diego can have up to a million drivers each day.
The elaborate connections with various freeways can be confusing and frustrating for even the most seasoned veterans of California’s roadways. One of the most well-known intersections along I-5 is “The Merge”. This dreaded intersection is known for quick decrease in the number of lanes and traffic coming to a sudden stop, which results in many car accidents every day.
I-10: Interstate 10 is particularly dangerous in the 150-mile stretch from Phoenix, Arizona to the California border, but the east-to-west interstate continues to be a hazard when running through California cities such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Bernardino.
High traffic volume is one of the biggest factors in relation to fatal accidents on the I-10, but others such as speeding and inattentive driving are also responsible. Due to the ongoing dangers on I-10, the California Department of Transportation constructed special Accident Investigation Sites to help find the causes of fatal accidents.
For a detailed list of dangerous highways in Northern California, follow this link.
Be an Attentive Driver
While many of California’s highways have been proven to be “nightmarish” and dangerous, especially for distracted drivers, it is still possible to navigate such roadways without becoming an accident statistic.
Whether it’s your first time on the I-10 or part of your daily commute, one of the safest and most responsible things you can do is stay alert.
When traffic is stop and go, it’s tempting to check e-mails or make a phone call, but every second you spend not looking at the road can increase your chance of being involved in a crash.
Rather than letting the stressful drive time get to you, try planning ahead by checking out California traffic and road conditions ahead of time. Remember, being an impatient and aggressive driver will not get you to your destination any faster. Try to relax and drive safely.
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