The Dangers of Living Near a Highway


OMAHA, Nebraska. Looking for a new apartment? Thinking of buying a new home? Living by a highway, especially near a trucking route, can be dangerous to your health. While we hear about the risks of truck accidents and car accidents, we don’t often hear about the real risks that cars and trucks pose to our health even when we aren’t driving.

According to the Los Angeles Times, living within 500 feet of a freeway can increase your risk of asthma, heart attack, pre-term birth, lung cancer, and strokes. The concern is so great that air quality officials have been telling people not to build their homes within 500 feet of a freeway. Some families who ignored the warnings are now paying the price. They are more at risk of getting sick, may suffer from respiratory problems, and some even report having headaches. One pediatrician working at a hospital noted that children who live near freeways sometimes come into the hospital for breathing problems or asthma.

Reporters for the New York Times collected air samples near freeways and found pollution near highways to be three or four times higher than pollution recorded further from the freeway.

Yet, for many dense urban cities, re-zoning the city to keep people safe might be too expensive. At the end of the day, it may come down to economics. Studies have shown that carcinogens are more prevalent in areas beside roadways, but changing the way people live in cities is just too expensive to result in real political and local change.

How risky is living a freeway? One recent study, reported by CNN, found that people living near freeways were at greater risk of developing dementia. The closer the people lived to a freeway, the greater their risk for developing dementia. Individuals who lived within 164 feet of a freeway saw a 7% increase in their risk for developing dementia. In order for the risk to be reduced, individuals had to live at least 656 feet away from a freeway.

While some claim that putting an end to construction near freeways is the answer, others believe that the trucking and car industry should also hold itself accountable. By reducing emissions and creating cleaner-running cars, the industry can reduce pollution. Keeping cars properly repaired can also protect the general public. A truck that has not undergone proper maintenance might be releasing more harmful emissions than it needs to.

It seems that living near a highway can be bad for your health for many reasons. Truck traffic can put pedestrians and drivers at risk. The Omaha, Nebraska personal injury lawyers at Rensch & Rensch see firsthand how devastating car and truck accidents can be for victims and their families. Our firm works closely with those whose lives have been impacted by crashes. We may be able to help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Visit us at to learn more about your options.



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