Interstate 5 is the major north-south route in California. It begins at the Mexico–United States border at the San Ysidro crossing, goes north across the length of California and crosses into Oregon south of the Medford. It is the most heavily trafficked north-south route on the Pacific Coast. It is the primary artery for transportation of agricultural and manufactured goods by semi trucks and trailers transporting goods along the entire western coast of the United States. It serves almost every major metropolitan area on the West Coast, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and Portland. In Southern California, tens of thousands of big commercial trucks — whether called tractor-trailers, tankers, semis or 18-wheelers — crawl and barrel along I-5 every day. Crashes involving these vehicles, which can weigh as much as 40 tons, are the deadliest and costliest, and they are on the rise, creeping up faster than collisions involving only cars.
The number of trucks on I-5 has only increased as the economy has recovered, and after falling sharply during the recession, truck-involved crashes have been rising. In Southern California alone, as of 2014, I -5 was averaging more than 1,100 serious truck collisions per year.
Crashes involving with a commercial motor vehicle on I-five can lead to devastating and fatal injuries. Medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, uninsured property losses, pain, suffering and disability combine to make truck-related crashes among the most life-altering kinds of accidents motorists face. If you or a loved one are suffering the consequences of an accident with a semi or other commercial motor vehicle on Interstate 5, the truck accident lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger can help. Contact us today and schedule a free review of your legal options.
Interstate 5: Traffic and Collision Information
Interstate 5 is the main vein that transports goods along the Western Coast of the United States. It runs parallel to the Pacific Coast of the U.S., stretching from Mexico at the southern border to Canada on the northern tip. It serves many major metropolitan areas on the West Coast including:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
I-5 runs through nearly 800 miles of California, beginning at the Mexican border of San Ysidro, one of the busiest border crossings in the world. Outside of northern San Diego, I-5 becomes the widest stretch of Interstate in the country. Following the system north, I-5 goes through Los Angeles and the San Fernando. It winds through mountains and valleys to reach Bakersfield and the rest of the Central Valley region, continuing north to reach the Northern border to Oregon.
Interstate 5 is also one of the deadliest highways in the nation, according to an analysis of NHTSA data. In fact, 12 of California’s Interstates ranked in the top 50 deadliest interstates throughout the United States.
What Causes Truck Accidents on the Interstate 5?
According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 290 fatal truck collisions on the state’s roadways in 2015 alone, and thousands more leading to injuries. Why do these accidents occur with such frequency? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which analyzes the cause of truck accidents:
- Driver error is the leading cause of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles. This includes things like fatigue, sleep apnea, diabetes, inattention, speeding, operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol, following too closely, unsafe lane changes, are among the top causes of driver error when big rigs are involved. When a driver’s error leads to loss of control or following too closely without adequate stopping distance, he or she will likely be liable for any injuries and property damage that results.
- Improper maintenance. Trucking companies and their employees, as well as independent drivers, are required by state and federal law to guarantee that there trucks and trailers are safe and in proper condition. Failure of equipment is a leading cause of problems. Owners, operators, employees and independent drivers must all pay careful attention to their vehicle’s brakes, wheels, tires, mirrors and lights by checking tire pressure, braking mechanisms, and other safety features regularly. This is more than a matter of responsibility; federal law requires it. Failure to follow vehicle maintenance procedures could amount to negligence in the event of a truck accident.
- Overloaded and improperly loaded trailers cause problems with safe driving and lead to loss of control and rollover accidents. Since California trucks can have a gross weight of up to 80,000 pounds, it’s essential to distribute the weight of a load evenly to assure proper handling. Unfortunately, instances of improper loading are a major contributing cause to truck accidents.
Why You Need an Attorney Following an Interstate 5 Truck Accident Accident
Truck accident claims are complex legal matters that involve both federal and state laws. If you or a loved one suffered harm in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, you need the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney that knows the Federal motor vehicle safety standards and the California requirements.. The lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger have handled major trucking collisions up and down the state and will conduct a thorough investigation into the root cause of your accident and demand fair compensation from the parties responsible. We will aggressively negotiate for a settlement that adequately reflects the full amount of your injuries, pain, and suffering. If negotiating with insurance companies does not lead to a fair outcome, we’ll take your case to trial.
If you’re struggling in the aftermath of a trucking accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger to schedule a free review of your legal options today. Take advantage of our contingency-fee legal services, and let us help you hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm you suffered.