With so many lives lost each year on the Interstate 10 freeway in California, it stands to reason that massive vehicles like semi-trucks and big rigs should take special precautions to avoid collisions. However, this is rarely the case, and many of the most fatal truck accidents on I-10 are directly caused by negligent drivers.
Here at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, our Inland Empire-based accident lawyers have over 30 years of experience fighting for victims of major trucking accidents. Although we can help you seek the recovery and compensation you deserve in the event of serious injuries, it’s also important to observe basic safety precautions whenever you travel on I-10.
In this post, we’ll touch on the dangers presented by the 10 freeway, and discuss how you may be able to keep yourself safe.
What Makes the 10 Freeway So Dangerous?
It’s no secret to native Southern Californians that the Interstate 10 freeway can be deadly. Aside from anecdotal evidence, there’s also a lot of statistical data out there to support drivers’ fears. According to a 2010 ranking by the Daily Beast, I-10 was the 5th most dangerous highway in the entire country, with 341 fatal accidents tracked over a four-year period alone. This chilling pattern was established yet again in 2016, when researchers examined current Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data and found that the I-10 is now the 4th deadliest highway in America.
Here are some of the main causes cited for the deadly crashes on I-10:
- Drunk drivers
- Negligent truck drivers
- Poorly lit roads
- Narrow 2-lane corridors
- Long stretches without gas or rest stops
- Desert dust storms
Preventing a Truck Collision on I-10
Because the I-10 freeway stretches all the way out to the East Coast, thousands upon thousands of semi-trucks and tractor trailers use this road to make nationwide deliveries. With a severe driver shortage and continued reports of driver abuse and coercion throughout the truck industry, it’s unlikely that trucking companies will ever slow down the frenetic pace of transport along I-10. That means that for the time being, big rigs and other massive vehicles will continue to be involved in major accidents on the 10.
To protect yourself out on the freeway, here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Remember that trucks have a limited visual range. Trucks have many blind spots, and drivers may not even be able to see the road in front of them for up to 15 feet. Whenever you’re within range of a blind spot, proceed with caution, and avoid making any sudden movements.
- Make signaling a priority. Whether it’s midnight or a sunny SoCal morning, use clear and consistent turn signals before merging lanes on the 10 freeway. With traffic often moving at a breakneck rate of 80 miles per hour, you just never know when a speeding truck will miscalculate your moves.
- Check your headlights regularly. Many portions of the I-10 freeway are dim or even unlit, so it’s crucial to make sure that your headlights are in good working order. Aim to have them checked and adjusted at least once every six months.
- Give trucks plenty of room. Because of their sheer size and length, semi-trucks take much longer to come to a complete stop than passenger cars. While it may be frustrating to be stuck behind a big rig, you should never tail-gate one: In fact, it’s better to give even more room than you normally would.
- Don’t ever drive distracted. Although it’s illegal to use your phone while driving anywhere in California, it’s especially important to stay alert on I-10. With so many massive vehicles around you, getting distracted at the wrong time could have tragic—and even permanent—repercussions.
Do you need assistance with a truck accident case in the Inland Empire or surrounding areas? Contact our compassionate team at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP for more information today.