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Commercial trucks: a constant risk to other California drivers

Anyone who lives anywhere in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and drives regularly on roads throughout the region might have a flatly difficult time conveying just what that can sometimes feel like to a family member or acquaintance residing in another state.

How often do you think a friend from Missouri, Wisconsin or Maine, for example, has had to slide over six lanes or more within a few hundred yards to score a desired exit ramp?

More importantly, how could they understand what it feels like to negotiate such a move with several large commercial trucks operating in adjacent lanes?

It's small wonder that the roadways throughout Southern California are frequently cited for their complexity and singularly heavy traffic loads. In fact, it would be more of a news story if they weren't.

One aspect of traffic-linked data that often accompanies transportation-related stories regarding Los Angeles County and surrounding areas focuses upon the roadway dangers posed by the many large trucks that regularly traverse the region.

To say that big-rig accident risks are something that concern state and local safety officials would just reiterate the obvious in an understated way. In fact, truck crash concerns throughout Southern California are a huge worry, given the above-noted traffic complexities. Although a recent report notes a few specific freeway locations where crash risks have proven to be especially high, accidents regularly occur across the entirety of the region's road system.

And that fact renders it imperative for every motorist in a passenger vehicle to maintain an exacting focus on driving details and to keep a close and constant watch on what truck drivers are doing in surrounding lanes.

The reason why is obvious, of course, and duly noted by one state safety official.

"In a crash," he says, "the big rig is going to win."

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