Any time drivers get behind the wheel, they face a certain amount of risk. They can drive defensively and safely, but they cannot control external factors, such as other drivers and hazards on the road.
There are times when the road itself could pose a hazard. As we discussed in a previous post, I-5 is one of the most dangerous highways in Washington. What makes it so dangerous?
More cars on the road might mean more risk
According to The Seattle Times, the stretch of I-5 around Seattle moves more people than other roadways across the state. That makes I-5 one of the busiest highways in Washington.
This high rate of traffic could be one of the reasons I-5 is so dangerous. The simple fact that there are more vehicles on the road often correlates with a higher chance of accidents occurring.
Does the highway’s age affect the risk?
Put bluntly, I-5 is an older highway. The highway was built in the 1960s – and it has not had significant renovation since then. The lack of renovation can affect risk in a few ways, including:
- It does not accommodate changes in vehicle design
- It does not accommodate the increase in the population using this highway
- Many areas might have poor road conditions, which play a role in many accidents
The age of the highway itself does not mean drivers face a risk. However, the lack of work can seriously impact the condition of the road.
Thankfully, there are projects and plans underway now to improve I-5, including:
- Pavement replacement and repair
- Expansion of the highway
- Traffic and mobility management
These plans extend into the 2030s. It may take some time, but improving the structure and design of the highway could also help improve safety for drivers.
Awareness goes a long way
The design, age and rate of traffic on I-5 certainly could contribute to why this road is so dangerous. However, as long as drivers remain aware of the potential risk every time they merge onto I-5, they can make their commute safer.