What Are the Most Used Truck Routes in California?

by Staff Blogger | April 1st, 2024

Trucking routes are the arteries of California’s economy, facilitating the movement of goods essential to the state’s commerce. These include minerals, agricultural products, and rubber, which comprise 35% of interstate tonnage. 

Trucks move goods from the bustling ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the agricultural heartlands of the Central Valley. However, with this high transport level come risks like traffic congestion, road maintenance, and accidents.

Knowing California’s most-used truck routes can help you avoid a collision and understand the risks you might face on heavily driven corridors. If you’re involved in a crash with a semi-truck, a California truck accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can protect your rights and help you seek compensation.

Major Truck Routes in California

The value of goods traveling from California to other U.S. states is expected to increase by 95% between 2023 and 2050, equalling $1.742 trillion. To support this commerce, California has an extensive network of highways, interstates, and corridors that serve as lifelines for the transportation industry. These major roadways include:

  • Interstate 5 (I-5): This major north-south route runs the length of California, connecting major urban areas such as San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. It is crucial for transporting goods between the agricultural Central Valley and other parts of the state, as well as to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the busiest ports in the United States.
  • Interstate 10 (I-10): Running from Santa Monica through Los Angeles to the Arizona state line, I-10 is key for east-west transportation within Southern California. It links the Greater Los Angeles area with inland regions and is vital for distributing goods from the coastal ports inland.
  • U.S. Route 101 (US-101): This route runs through California from Los Angeles to the Oregon border, serving key coastal communities and industries. It is important for moving goods within the state, especially for the wine and agricultural products of the Central Coast regions.
  • Interstate 40 (I-40): Starting in Barstow and heading east out of California, I-40 is a primary route for goods traveling between Southern California and the rest of the United States. It is a critical link for transporting products from the West Coast to central and eastern markets.
  • State Route 99 (SR-99): Running through the Central Valley, SR-99 connects agricultural communities and cities like Bakersfield, Fresno, and Modesto. This route is essential for transporting California’s agricultural products to markets and distribution centers.
  • Interstate 80 (I-80): Connecting San Francisco to the Nevada state line, I-80 is a vital transcontinental corridor for goods moving in and out of the San Francisco Bay Area, including technology products and imports from the Port of Oakland.

Safety Considerations when Driving with Trucks

While these truck routes are essential for sustaining California’s commerce, they also present various challenges and safety considerations for drivers. As you travel along these corridors, be aware of the following:

  • Traffic Congestion: Traffic congestion in urban centers and key corridors, such as in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, can impact driver safety. The dense traffic, often mixed with large trucks, creates unpredictable conditions, increasing collision risks.

Congestion can also lead to longer travel times and heightened stress, which can cause aggressive driving and more accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites traffic congestion as a leading cause of aggressive driving, like speeding, which killed 12,330 people in the U.S. in 2021.

  • Maintenance: Poor road maintenance and infrastructure needing repair can lead to hazardous driving conditions for all drivers. Issues such as potholes, cracks, and uneven road surfaces can cause vehicle damage and contribute to accidents.
  • Accident Risks: Heavy truck traffic, congested roads, and poorly maintained infrastructure can increase the likelihood of traffic accidents. These risks are heightened in areas with large commercial traffic volumes, particularly near ports, distribution centers, and major freight corridors.

Protect Your Rights in a Crash

If you’re involved in a collision in California, an experienced personal injury law firm can help you understand your rights and get fair compensation. Whether due to a semi-truck driver’s negligence, poor road conditions, or an accident in congested traffic, we can help you gather evidence, determine who’s at fault, and file a compensation claim from the liable party’s insurance company.

Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation where we can review your case and explain your legal options.