Southern California freeways are the busiest in the nation, with the 5, 10, 101, and 405 all consistently ranked among the most driven highways. In a 2016 global study of traffic congestion, Los Angeles overtook Moscow as the most congested city in the world, with the average driver spending 104.1 hours stuck in traffic.
Many of us at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth are average drivers, braving the freeways every day. After an unscientific firm poll, we’ve discovered which driving behaviors cause the most alarm on our daily commutes. It won’t surprise anyone that many of our biggest fears were drivers not following the basic rules of the road.
If you’ve ever been in a rear-end crash on the freeway, you know why tailgating makes us nervous. Following too closely makes it difficult to stop at a moments notice. With traffic as congested as it is, it’s unnerving to see a vehicle right on your bumper when checking the rear-view mirror. In the vast majority of rear-end collisions, the tailgating driver is placed at fault.
Lane changes are considered dangerous maneuvers on congested, multi-lane freeways. The drivers who weave in and out of lanes in an attempt to shave a minute or two off of their commute are at especially high risk for a sideswipe collision, and other drivers know it.
Unsafe Lane Changers
When vehicles switch lanes rapidly, without using turn signals, other drivers may not be able to react in time to avoid a collision. Cutting across multiple lanes of traffic to exit the freeway is another example of an unsafe lane change that can scare other drivers.
Some SoCal freeways, like the Express Lanes of the 91, separate carpool/toll lanes from regular lanes with a physical barrier. Others, like the 22 and portions of the 60, allow free access in and out of the lanes. But most freeways in the Southland only offer solid lines as protection. The difference in flow of traffic in the carpool lane can be drastically faster than the next lane over. Carpool drivers do not expect a car traveling 30 mph slower to illegally jump in front of them and fast lane drivers do not expect a car traveling 30 mph faster to illegally attempt a merge. Either situation is a recipe for disaster, and any time we see someone jump the carpool lane in either direction, we hope for the best and fear the worst.
People on the freeway looking at their phone instead of the road cause untold numbers of crashes. When we see someone looking at their phone, we worry that we will be involved in the next one.
Help Us Feel Safe!
As a personal injury law firm, we’ve seen first hand the damages the can occur in a car accident. We encourage all drivers to follow the rules of the road. If you’ve been injured in a car crash, call us today at 888-517-9888 for a free consultation.