Interstate Route 55 Freeway Accidents
State Route 55 is a north-south highway in Orange County that runs just under 18 miles. SR-55 runs from the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach to State Route 91 in Anaheim. As part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, Route 55 used to be known as the Newport Freeway, but is now commonly referred to as the Costa Mesa Freeway.
The Costa Mesa Freeway has become a vital and busy corridor linking southern Orange County with Route 91 and Interstate 5. Many commuters need to get to the 91 in order to reach the Inland Empire and the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. Others need to get to Interstate 5 because it is considered the main north-south corridor for all of California. Route 55 travels through many bustling and growing cities such as Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Orange, Tustin and Anaheim. It was the first freeway in all of Orange County to include carpool lanes to help alleviate congestion.
The Significance of Route 55
As is true with many Orange County freeways, Interstate Route 55 has grown over the years. It was originally conceived simply as a link between the Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean and Route 91 through Riverside. According to a Department of Transportation's report from 2005, approximately 262,000 vehicles and 17,292 trucks travel along Route 55 everyday.
According to a separate study by the California Department of Transportation, there are a number of major traffic generators along SR-55 including:
- John Wayne Airport
- Newport Center
- Downtown Costa Mesa
- Hoag Hospital
- University of California, Irvine
- Mall of Orange
- Western Medical Center
- Santa Ana Civic Center
Traffic Issues on the 55 Freeway
There are a number of problems areas along SR-55. For example, the average daily traffic (ADT) along SR-55 at 19th Street in Costa Mesa is 71,000 vehicles. Over 182,000 vehicles converge at Triangle Square, where Harbor Boulevard, 19th Street and Newport Boulevard meet. There are a number of busy areas along SR-55 that can cause serious congestion issues.
In addition to congestion, there are many factors that contribute to Orange County car accidents along the 55, including:
- Dangerous truck drivers: As an important link between the coast and Riverside, many large trucks travel on Interstate Route 55 every day. Truck drivers who fail to properly inspect their vehicles or who push the federal regulations when it comes to hours of operation put all motorists at risk.
- Distracted drivers: Truck drivers are not the only motorists who can do great harm by driving distracted. Car drivers who use the 55 as part of their daily commute may get bored and begin to check their cell phone. Distracted drivers are the cause of many Orange County crashes each year.
- Debris: Busy roadways that have trucks and tractor-trailers are often littered with debris. Large items that fall off the back of trucks or that break off larger vehicles must be cleaned up right away. Unfortunately, Interstate 55 has a history of fatal accidents resulting from debris that crashed through windshields or forced motorists to veer out of control.
Because of the speed and congestion on Interstate Route 55, when an accident occurs, it is typically a high-speed collision and it often involves a number of vehicles. Victims of these tragic accidents may suffer head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bone injuries, lacerations or even burns. Compensation may be available for the resulting medical bills, suffering and other related damages if the victim can show that the at-fault party was negligent at the time of the crash.
Contacting an Expert Attorney
The skilled Orange County car accident lawyers have a successful track record of helping victims of Orange County car accidents obtain fair and full compensation for their injuries damages and losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident on the 55 Freeway, please contact us for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.