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Freeway traffic jams present the potential for car crashes

If you live in Southern California, you must often use freeways to get from Point A to Point B. Two of our freeways—the 405 and the 101—are among the “top 10 traffic jam locations” in the country.

A freeway traffic jam is a source of tremendous frustration and one of the reasons some people engage in reckless driving, raising the potential for car crashes.

The traffic study

Results from a 2017 traffic study undertaken by the data firm Inrix focused on freeway congestion. Freeways 405 and 101 were in the top 10 for traffic jam hot spots. The northbound and southbound lanes of the 405 between Los Angeles International Airport and Orange County occupied second and third place in the survey, and the length of the traffic jams in both directions averaged about 24 minutes. The 101 freeway took fourth place. It is the section between downtown Los Angeles and the Cahuenga Pass where each traffic jam lasts for an astonishing average of 355 minutes. Californians may want to know which area came in first on the Inrix survey and that is a bit of good news for The Golden State: The worst traffic jam in the country occurs on Interstate 95 at Washington, D.C.

Aggressive driving

Despite the slowing or stopping in a freeway traffic jam, there is considerable jockeying for position among the drivers. Anger and frustration build as drivers try to find their way out of the “parking lot.” However, with speed and reckless driving come poor judgment and a loss of vehicle control. For example, a driver may not be prepared for a quick stop up ahead and therefore causes a rear-end collision, a seemingly minor accident that can result in serious head, neck or back injuries.

Accidents happen

Reckless driving includes speeding, and according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, speeding has been a factor in about one-third of vehicle fatalities recorded throughout the nation during the past 20 years. Drivers in Southern California hope to avoid accidents and the catastrophic injuries that might result. The reckless behavior of someone trying to get out of a freeway traffic jam can change another driver’s life dramatically.

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