Why Are Truck Accidents Always Happening On Pasadena’s 210 Freeway?

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    As one of the major routes in California, the 210 Freeway in Pasadena is always crowded with vehicles traveling back and forth. They are often filled with football fans who flock to Pasadena every New Year to witness the famed Rose Bowl Game held in the Rose Bowl stadium. With a capacity of over 90,000 people, it is one of the biggest stadiums not just in the United States but worldwide. So far, the stadium has hosted five Super Bowl games and several world soccer championships, including FIFA matches.

    Tourists and locals alike also enjoy the historic Tournament of Roses, a parade that showcases flower-covered floats. It has been held annually since January 1, 1890, to celebrate Pasadena’s sunny climate as the rest of the nation is buried under snow. Each year, more than 1 million people attend the parade.

    Apart from these major events, the usual economic activities inside and outside Pasadena also bring massive commercial trucks traveling through the 210 Freeway daily. The mere number of trucks passing through puts drivers and other road users (especially those in smaller cars) at risk of a devastating traffic accident.

    Compared to the average passenger vehicle, trucks are difficult to maneuver and take a long time to stop, making them significantly more dangerous on the road. Truck accidents on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena often result in significant consequences, including damage to properties, severe body injuries, and even wrongful deaths.

    Why Do Truck Accidents Happen On The 210 Freeway In Pasadena?

    Truck accidents are a common sight on the 210 Freeway. Here are the common causes of truck accidents on Interstate 210 in Pasadena:

    Speeding

    Truck drivers are often in a hurry to deliver their cargo, then start a new trip or return home. You would think that carrying that much weight would motivate truckers to drive safely. However, the reality is that some drivers do not consider or blatantly ignore the dangers of driving over the speed limit. What makes speeding trucks even more dangerous is that during an accident, the sheer weight and size of trucks can severely damage or crush smaller vehicles or pedestrians.

    Trucks also need more time than the average car to stop. Imagine what will happen if a speeding truck driver fails to hit the brakes at a safe distance and hits a car going the other way. Speeding accidents are known to cause devastating injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and amputations. Fatalities are also a common result of speeding collisions.

    Fatigued Driving

    Fatigue is often related to drowsiness, but it’s more than that. Extreme exhaustion can cause truck drivers to lose control of their vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 684 recorded deaths from drowsy driving accidents in 2021, highlighting the understated dangers of fatigued driving.

    When someone’s too tired to drive, their response time will be slower, and their judgment will most likely be clouded. They can’t pay enough attention to the road. Combined, these conditions are a surefire recipe for disaster.

    Overloading Trucks

    Overloading cargo on trucks is a practice many trucking companies do to save money. The thing with overloaded trucks is that they pose a huge danger to drivers, pedestrians, and other road users. Way too much cargo increases tire pressure, which can lead to extremely dangerous tire blowouts. If the weight is unevenly distributed, the truck could tip over and cause a rollover accident. On a related note, unsecured cargo can fall off the trailer and hit other vehicles.

    It’s logical to think that the more vehicles there are on the road, the higher the risk of an accident. The 210 Freeway in Pasadena sees a lot of traffic every day. Just think about the risk of catastrophic damage if some of these vehicles are overloaded trucks. Unfortunately, accidents involving big rigs on this freeway are already a reality, such as the one involving an overturned tractor-trailer carrying over 50,000 pounds of gravel that injured two people.

    Truck driver in 210 Freeway using his phone while driving

    Distracted Driving

    NHTSA said distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,308 Americans in 2022. Given that commercial trucks and big rigs tend to be involved in very serious collisions on I-210, drivers should only focus on the road 100% of the time.

    Distracted driving is a significant concern among truck drivers. Using their phone, eating, talking, or doing anything else diverts their attention away from the road. Driving requires full attention, and engaging in any distraction increases the risk of an accident.

    Not Paying Attention To Blind Spots

    Trucks have massive blind spots that make driving alongside them dangerous for smaller vehicles. The truck’s blind spots can be around 30 feet, which can hide an entire car. Using side mirrors and backup cameras can minimize these blind spots but cannot eliminate them completely. This is why truckers have to be cautious when turning or switching lanes.

    Reckless Driving

    California imposes laws and regulations that truckers and truck companies must strictly follow to ensure everyone’s safety. Should the driver violate traffic laws by changing lanes recklessly, driving under the influence, or engaging in aggressive behaviors on the road, they will be subject to penalties and consequences in line with their negligent actions.

    Lack Of Truck Maintenance

    Poor truck maintenance is another reason why many truck accidents happen on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. Faulty brakes, misaligned or worn-out tires, malfunctioning lights, and busted suspension on these huge vehicles are all dangerous when encountered on the road.

    Driving In Inclement Weather

    Rain can make the roads slippery, especially for the first 15 minutes. Oil, dirt, and rubber accumulate and harden on the road’s surface during sunny days. The rain then causes a slick layer of oil and water to form on the surface. Tires would lose traction, and stopping distances would increase.

    In February 2024, a semi-truck jackknifed near the Lake Avenue off-ramp, which led the trailer to dangle down the embankment. According to the report, the accident happened after a night of heavy rain, which caused slippery roads.

    Potholes And Other Road Defects

    Many motorists have complained about the potholes along the freeway, particularly near the Madre Street exit. Potholes, uneven pavement, and other road defects significantly increase the risk of accidents involving large vehicles.

    Trucks have a higher center of gravity compared to cars. Hitting a pothole or encountering uneven pavement can cause a truck to jolt or swerve unexpectedly. The sudden shift in weight can be difficult to control, especially if the vehicle is overloaded. Potholes and road debris also inflict significant damage on a truck’s tires. A sudden blowout at highway speeds can cause the driver to lose control, potentially leading to spinouts or jackknifing.

    The City Of Roses And Truck Accidents

    Amidst the colorful and lively atmosphere of Pasadena, there lurks the danger of severe traffic accidents, especially along Lake Avenue and Hill Avenue freeway exits. Most of the collisions that happen in the area involve big and heavy trucks. These accidents often happen because of the sheer volume of vehicles — both private cars and commercial trucks — pouring into the freeway.

    Some truck accidents occur around Pasadena’s train tracks by the freeway. In fact, a truck accident on the Gold Line resulted in all light-rail services being stopped for a while. Gold Line passengers said they were aware of the risks of a car or truck hitting the railway tracks. Regardless, train accidents involving trucks and other vehicles can result in delays. More importantly, catastrophic accidents like these often end in severe injuries and fatalities.

    Many passengers choose to ride a train to work out of convenience. They can save money from paying taxis, avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic, and help save the environment. In line with this, the LA Metro said that starting in 2027, the third extension from Azusa/Glendora to Montclair would reduce car miles by 146,700 and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3 million metric tons.

    While this solution is beneficial for commuters and the environment, it fails to consider the risks of accidents occurring. In recent years, Pasadena officials have started developing a way to address the Gold Line catastrophes on the 210 Freeway.

    Doubling The Height Of 210 Freeway Concrete Barriers

    For the past years, cars and trucks have spun and tumbled over concrete barriers on the 210 Freeway. In one of these accidents, a truck crashed straight through the freeway and landed on the Metro Gold Line rail tracks. The accident disrupted passengers and caused heavy traffic.

    Many experts agree it’s time to address the issue before a deadlier accident happens that could cause people to stop riding the popular light-rail line, which helps reduce traffic. LA Metro is planning to build a 56-inch-high concrete barrier stretching over 12 miles to prevent trucks and cars from hitting the rail tracks. The current barriers are based on old-generation K-rails, which are 32 inches high. To deflect out-of-control cars and trucks, the new barriers that will be installed are rounder and bolstered with rebar steel.

    Safe Driving Tips To Prevent Accidents On Pasadena’s 210 Freeway

    Freeway accidents typically involve major vehicle damage and serious injuries. Practicing safe driving habits is the best way to avoid accidents in general. While this sounds easy enough, it can be challenging for some drivers to practice consistently. In reality, every driver has moments of passing attention or mistakes made behind the wheel.

    Here are some driving tips that can help prevent 210 Freeway accidents in Pasadena:

    Driver checking his truck before driving

    • Make sure you keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of you, especially trucks.
    • Keep your speed within the posted limits and according to the conditions on the freeway.
    • Make your route clear in advance to avoid confusion or hasty decisions when driving.
    • Make sure you can see the road clearly. Stay aware of your blind spots.
    • Keep your eyes on the road and away from handheld devices such as cell phones.
    • Keep your vehicle in good condition.
    • Be alert and pull out of the freeway if you get tired or if you need a break.
    • Do not stop or use the shoulder unless you need emergency assistance.
    Most Dangerous California State Highways

    NHTSA assures that California’s highway fatality rates are dropping. The decrease in numbers is not because of improvements in driving behaviors but because of better safety features on the roads and in most vehicles. However, despite lower death rates, the number of disabling injuries from I-210 and other freeway accidents remains high.

    The National Safety Council (NSC) reported in 2021 that California has the second-highest number of deaths due to large truck crashes. The unique geographical structure of highways and roads in the state contributes to these accidents.

    That said, Pasadena’s 210 Freeway is not the only dangerous highway in California. Below are the most dangerous state highways:

    US 101

    US 101 runs through California for about 800 miles from Los Angeles to Grants Pass. In operation since the 1920s, it has many well-known segments, such as the Hollywood, Central, and Santa Ana Freeways. It helps delivery trucks transport goods across the San Fernando Valley and to areas like Hollywood and Downtown LA.

    Truck accidents are common in this area. In fact, a truck collision resulting in minor injuries was reported on Highway 101 in San Jose in December 2023.

    State Route 99

    California State Route 99, also known as the Golden State Highway, runs through 420 miles from the Central Valley between Bakersfield and Red Bluff. In the past, it served as a major north-south route until I-5 was built. Several factors, including road conditions, poor lighting, and drivers’ negligence, contribute to the route’s high rate of accidents and fatalities. Many truck accidents occur on the Golden State Highway, like the truck collision that happened on its north end.

    State Route 1

    State Route 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, has a mesmerizing view of California’s coastline. It goes from Dana Point in Orange County to Mendocino County. However, the breathtaking scenery of the vast Pacific Ocean can serve as a contributing factor to accidents by distracting drivers. Many other hazards are also present in SR-1, like blind curves, limited guardrails, and strong winds, especially during inclement weather.

    State Route 41

    State Route 41 connects the Central Coast with the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada. This route is a vital link for transporting agricultural goods. Many trucks passing through pose risks to other vehicles. In fact, Caltrans stated that traffic congestion, high collision rates, and passing opportunities are issues identified on a 7.1-mile segment of State Route 41 in Fresno and Kings counties.

    State Route 210

    State Route 210 stretches 40 miles east of Interstate 10 between Redlands and Glendora before it transitions into Interstate 210 and moves toward Los Angeles. The 210 through Pasadena suffers from potholes and poor maintenance, making it hazardous to motorists. As one of the major routes in Southern California, it accommodates many vehicles. High traffic often results in collisions, like this accident among multiple vehicles, including a big rig, on I-210.

    Major Routes That Intersect Pasadena Freeway 210

    Freeway 210 connects several routes in Southern California. These routes have a high volume of daily traffic, including trucks and tractor-trailers. Given this, it’s not surprising to know that car accidents regularly occur on the freeway.

    The following are the major routes that intersect on Freeway 210:

    1. Interstate 5 – This nearly 800-mile-long highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is used by more than 1 million drivers and commuters in California. Aside from sharing the road with thousands of drivers and passengers, the high number of trucks on the highway increases the risk of accidents.
    2. Interstate 15 – The I-15 is another heavily traveled highway in Southern California, linking San Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside counties. This freeway also connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles and is ranked as one of the deadliest highways in the United States.

    Need Legal Help For Your 210 Freeway Accident? Consult Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today!

    Arash Law has the best truck accident lawyers in CaliforniaIf you or your loved ones are injured in a truck accident on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena, it’s crucial to pursue a personal injury claim to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve. This compensation is essential for covering medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

    Arash Law, under the direction of Arash Khorsandi, Esq., has the knowledge and experience necessary to win your personal injury case. Our Pasadena truck accident lawyers are experienced in handling freeway accident cases. Our personal injury attorneys are here to protect your rights and make sure you have the strong legal support you need.

    With our personal injury lawyers by your side, you can be confident that we’ll fight hard to get you the full compensation you are entitled to. Call us at (888) 488-1391 or fill out our “Do I Have A Case?” form for a free initial consultation.

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    DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this blog is not formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this page be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always obtain a free and confidential case evaluation from a reputable attorney near you if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.

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