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Daily Dose of Drama On The 405 (Freeway)

Updated on March 24, 2016

Do You Still Need More Drama In Your Life?

Now if you are not one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have to use the 405 Freeway in Southern California in a daily basis, then you still have something to smile or be thankful about. Remember that on Thanksgiving Day.

And if you believe in God, pray that you don’t ever have to use the 405 anytime soon. Or pray not to ever have a need to move in into the LA Area anytime soon, for that matter.

Interstate 405 Personal Experience

I live in Southern California but for a long time, I have no use for the 405, well maybe only for the few times that I had to go to the LAX. And awhile back I have extensively used the 110 or the 91 and some of the others freeways in the area (like the 5, 105, 605, 10, 710, 47 and 103) but there seems to be something unique to the 405 that attracts drivers to use it.

And since the middle of this year, I too had to use the 405 daily, during rush hour traffic. And if you have no idea how it is, then I suggest you don’t try to find out.

Although, one thing that I can say about all this. There has never been a dull day that I have traversed that 10 mile or so portion of the 405 that I needed to use every day (20 miles if you count it both ways).

Every single day, I have yet to see something not happening in that short stretch.

I mean, I have seen a school bus which had fallen in a ditch.

Highway Drama

I was stopped by and had to give way to paramedics, firetrucks, police and the CHP (California Highway Patrol, yes as in the television show CHiPs) countless times. Well one time because apparently one of their own (a motorcycle cop) got into an accident on the 405. (In fact, there hardly is a day now I that I don't see a black and white CHiPs car or motorbike).

Never has there been an instance wherein I haven’t seen a motorist (or a car) stopped or pulled over by a cop on the shoulder or cars on the side or still in the middle of the freeway because of traffic collisions or what-have-yous. And I had a traffic accident happen a mere 15 seconds in front me. I had to go to the carpool lane to go around it.

I also have seen my daily dose of crazy drivers or drivers who shouldn't be allowed on the road but this is LA, so you can't escape those.

And of course, the several child abduction signs flashing the details of vehicles used by reported kidnappers which sometimes my seven year old son reads and checks every car to see if he can find it.

Yes, drama in the 405 and drama day in and day out. And with all these drama, you wouldn’t need to watch any of the soaps, or the court room dramas, or the USC or the UCLA games , the Dodgers or the Angels games, the Lakers or the Kings games or any of the reality shows on television.

What is The 405?

Okay contrary to popular belief, the 405 does not mean 4 or 5 hours commuting (but it does feel like it most days).

Kidding aside, the Interstate 405 (in California) is known as the 405 (four o’ five), the I 405 or the 405 Freeway.

It is also known as the San Diego Freeway, which is a little confusing, because it actually is located nowhere near San Diego. In fact San Diego is located over 70 miles to the south of the 405.

Now, to give you an idea where it is, it is the main bypass off the Interstate 5, in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It runs north to south and south to north, from Irvine to Mission Hills, near San Fernando.

It is one of the more popular interstates in the Southern California because it travels the scenic coastal region of Los Angeles.

In fact it is one of the main routes to many of Southern California's most popular beaches, beach cities, landmarks, tourist attractions and the LAX or the Los Angeles International Airport.

Now because of all these, the 405 Freeway is very popular and of course very heavily used.

In fact, 405 has become one the busiest and most congested freeways in the world.

And now while the 405 Freeway is only approximately 70 miles long, yes it isn’t that long, most days, it feels like it is 700 miles long, depending on where you are, the time of the day and if you get stuck in the often traffic crawl and you are along-side the sometimes open and free-wheeling car-pool lane.

But sometimes don't let the carpool lane lure you into using it just because it's the only lane moving. For there will be times that you would regret getting stuck there because a mile or so ahead someone's car stalled, or there is one driving Miss Daisy using it or there is a collision which could all happen on the carpool lane at the worst possible time.

405 Viral Online Movie

Now the 405 has spun a viral 3 minute video and most days, travelers of the 405 probably can relate to the guy (who was probably more relieved than anything else to have survived one more daily commute, the old lady (who had to deal with one more crazy driver) and the police (who have to respond to one more traffic collision or whatever crazy thing happening) in the video.

405 The Movie

Now, if you unfortunately have to use the 405, you can go online and you can click here for:

Real Time Traffic Conditions, Maps, Incidents And News For the 405.

The 405 Freeway


Events That Happened In The 405

The O.J. Simpson Freeway Chase

While dangerous high-speed chases along the San Diego Freeway are not uncommon, perhaps the most famous chase in its history was also one of the slowest.

On the afternoon of June 17, 1994, former football star O.J. Simpson, suspected in the murder of his ex-wifeNicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Goldman, took to the freeway in a white Ford Bronco (driven by former USC teammate Al Cowlings) with police in pursuit.

A bizarre, widely-televised low-speed chase ensued and ended hours later when Simpson returned to hisBrentwood estate via the Sunset Boulevard exit and surrendered to law enforcement.

UCLA Protest

Following the 1966 UCLA-USC rivalry game, USC was voted into the Rose Bowl despite UCLA defeating the Trojans and both teams having only one loss. UCLA students protested by blocking the northbound lanes of I-405 at Wilshire Boulevard.

The 405 In More Recent News

From the LA Times, July 8, 2010

Naked man adds drama to the usual rush-hour traffic on 405 Freeway

Reports of an unusual rush-hour traffic hazard in Long Beach started piling up at the local California Highway Patrol dispatch center shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday: a naked man was standing in the center divider of the southbound 405 Freeway at Lakewood Boulevard.

“We received the first call at 4:25 p.m. from a person who said there was a man with no clothing on the center divider of the freeway,” said CHP Officer Monica Posada. “Then we got a lot of duplicate calls after that.”

Patrick O’Conner, 21, of Auburn, Calif., was detained about 4:45 p.m. by Long Beach Police Department officers.

“We called out our mental evaluation team and they spoke with him,” said Long Beach police spokeswoman Jackie Bezart. “Ultimately, he was taken into custody and charged with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.”

From LA NBC, October 27, 2010

Runaway Big Rig Hits 15 Cars During 405 Freeway Rush Hour

A big rig driver, who may have suffered a heart attack while driving Wednesday northbound on the 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles, hit 18 cars before his rig came to a stop.

William Bradfield, 58, of Huntington Beach, lost control of the big rig because "of a medical problem," according to the California Highway Patrol. He was taken to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Some of the people in the vehicles struck by the big rig suffered minor to moderate injuries, authorities said.

The crash occurred just south of Santa Monica Boulevard at 4:36 p.m., said Devin Gales of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Northbound 405 Freeway traffic on the westside was backed up for over two hours.

From the Beverly Hills Courier, November 4, 2010

405 Freeway Motorist Found Dead in Vehicle

A motorist was found dead in a vehicle on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway, which temporarily slowed traffic on the freeway in Inglewood early today.

The unidentified motorist may have died of a heart attack or other natural causes, according to California Highway Patrol accounts.

A coroner's investigator said the motorist was a man.

He was found dead after firefighters responded to a reported disabled vehicle in the carpool lane on the northbound 405 north of Arbor Vitae Street between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and midnight.

There was no preliminary evidence of a traffic crash or collision, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said.

Is This Your Daily Commute?

Traffic around LAX and to the 405 Freeway and down Century Blvd.
Traffic around LAX and to the 405 Freeway and down Century Blvd.


Submit a Comment

  • J@ps profile image

    J@ps 6 years ago from Southern California

    So true David. Some days worse than others.

  • davidbkeegan profile image

    davidbkeegan 6 years ago from Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA

    The 405 is such a nightmare everyday!

  • J@ps profile image

    J@ps 7 years ago from Southern California

    You said it.

    And feels like it too!

  • nowavenowave profile image

    nowavenowave 7 years ago from United Kingdom

    looks like a headache!