It comes as no surprise to a California Injury Lawyer that half of the most dangerous roads in the United States are in California. In fact, the three most hazardous are in Los Angeles county. A new study from the Scripps Howard News Service, based on U.S. Department of Transportation statistics confirms these recent findings.
This study evaluated 562,712 fatal automobile accidents between 1994 and 2008, and concluded that there was a pattern of accidents on certain American highways. Number one on the list was I-15 in San Bernardino, California, the segment which connects southern California to Las Vegas. This highway had 834 accidents and 1,069 deaths. Riverside County’s I-10 had 440 accidents with 515 deaths. In third place is the I-5 through Los Angeles County with 494 deaths.
Here in Orange County, the I-5 corridor that connects Sand Diego to Los Angeles is the most hazardous. However, as in most states, the major highways are not as dangerous as smaller state highways, county and municipal roads. Specifically, 71% of serious accidents involving fatalities happen on these types of roads.
Ortega Highway or Route 74 in Orange County is one our most scenic, but dangerous roads. Just last month we had another car go over the side of the embankment, falling 30 feet. The motorist miraculously survived the fall but it also creates concern for the general public of road safety. Each month there is either a motorcycle accident, head-on collision or some type of accident on Ortega Highway, a road of death and motorists are asking why some of these roads are not maintained better.
In addition to maintaining state highways and municipal roads, better engineering needs to be planned into newer highways. Replacing dangerous intersections, safer medians, rumble strips and better guard rails could save thousands of lives.
In past years, factors such as speeding, drinking and unfastened seat belts were main causes in fatal motor vehicle crashes but recently the trends of “unexplained” causes are on the rise. Maybe distraction or maybe unreported safety situations are causing untimely accidents.
Until now, there has been no nationwide reporting system that could identify hazardous driving areas. Specifically it is left to local governments and community groups to expose dangerous roadways. As a part of the Scripps Howard “killer roads” project, they have created a website that the public can complain about dangerous situations. They in turn will pass this information on to local authorities. You can access this website at www.scrippsnews.com/killerroads/complaintform.
Report hazardous conditions whenever you can to help create a safer environment for driving. We know as California Injury Lawyers, that to win damages for victims of poor maintenance, we must prove that the State knew of the dangerousness. Since they won’t keep these records accurately for us, report is yourself. You may just save a life and your own.