California’s highways have experienced a series of road closures and other major road closures in recent years, with the state experiencing a nearly 70% spike in vehicle fatalities during the past five years.
Some of the most dangerous roads are in the state’s Central Valley, including Highway 101, Highway 99, Highway 580, Highway 990, Highway 605, Highway 606, Highway 17, Highway 1, Highway 5, Highway 4, Highway 2, Highway 101 and Highway 16.
Some states have also had some of the largest road closures, including the Central Valley of California, New Mexico and Utah.
What’s driving this?
The state’s highway systems are often in disrepair, with high congestion, poor safety infrastructure, poor maintenance and little enforcement.
The state is also under a severe drought, with only one of the three major reservoirs holding enough water to maintain normal levels of water use.
How does this affect California?
Drivers have to be aware of the various road closures.
There are also several major road safety issues affecting the state, such as the presence of vehicles with high-risk driving behaviors, unsafe driving, and high speed limits.
Many of the areas with the highest levels of road safety have also seen the highest number of crashes, with drivers being most likely to crash in the states largest cities.
What is the impact of the state road closures on the California economy?
California is a major business hub and a major source of jobs.
In 2016, there were approximately 15,700 construction and professional services jobs in California.
Additionally, California’s economy is projected to grow by approximately 3% annually through 2030.
In addition to these economic impacts, road closures have also affected the state economy, with some of California’s largest cities experiencing significant decreases in tax revenue due to the closures.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) estimates that the closures will cost the state an estimated $7.7 billion annually.
How do I report a crash?
Anyone can report a road safety related accident to the California Highway Patrol.
All motorists must first report an accident to Caltrans by completing a Crash Report Form and mailing it to: Caltrans Crash Report Center, P.O. Box 828, La Jolla, CA 92067.
This form can be filled out by anyone with a valid Driver’s License, California driver’s license, or California state ID card, or by calling the Caltrans Traffic Crash Helpline at 877-881-7811.
The Caltrans Driver’s Assistance Program (DAP) will assist motorists who are unable to contact Caltrans directly, and can help with locating and contacting other agencies.
What are the next steps?
The California Highway Commission (CHC) has developed a crash reporting form for motorists to use to report road safety-related accidents.
Anyone who experiences a crash is encouraged to call the CHC at 888-633-4332.
In the meantime, anyone with information about a crash can submit a report by emailing a photo and information to the CHP.
The CHC will then contact the California Department on Crash Reports to assist with the investigation.
How can I learn more about California’s road safety and road safety challenges?
Check out the state highway safety webpages, including CHC’s road closures page and the California Safety Report for more information.