California has more than 3,000 fatal vehicle accidents every year plus thousands more nonfatal accidents. Although you might assume these crashes are spread across the state, some roads are much more accident-prone than others.
When a road is curvy, congested, high-speed, poorly-lit, or heavily traveled, it’s more likely to have a high rate of accidents. That means personal injury lawyers see many clients with injuries that happened on the same set of roads.
Here’s a look at California’s most dangerous roads according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
#1: The I-5
This 800-mile-long interstate sits at the top of the list and is well-known in Los Angeles County for its severe and fatal crashes. This is not only California’s most dangerous road but also the #4 most-dangerous road in the nation.
Over a seven-year period that was part of an NHTSA safety study, the I-5 had almost 100 fatal crashes per year. Research into the causes of these crashes found that the I-5 has a deadly combination of high traffic volume, risks for teenage drivers, and a dramatic increase in crashes on weekend nights after dark.
State Road 2, or Highway 2, takes the #2 spot because although it has fewer accidents overall than any other road on this list, all but 2 were fatal. In a single year, 50 of 52 accidents resulted in one or more deaths.
This relatively short stretch of road is heavily traveled in Los Angeles County. Along this route, lower-speed traffic meets higher-speed traffic at many points, creating dangerous opportunities for crashes.
US Highway 101 is another heavily-traveled road with a high rate of crashes. In most years, there are more than two crashes per mile on US-101.
#4: The I-8
The I-8 through San Diego County claims more than 100 lives in an average year. In some years, the number has been as high as 145.
With more than 170 miles of roadway, the I-8 is on this list in part because it’s so long. Millions of people use it each year to travel in and out of San Diego, and many of them are tourists, distracted drivers, or just too inexperienced to understand this highway’s dangers.
#5: Highway 99
Highway 99 has been at the top of this list in the past. Although it has experienced a lower rate of crashes more recently, between 2011 and 2015 it had a total of 264 fatal crashes.
The NHTSA attributes 1 in 5 crashes on Highway 99 to drunk driving. The highest concentration of annual crashes typically occurs near Modesto.
Rounding out the list is SR-78, or Highway 78, which runs through San Diego County. In this 215-mile-long stretch of road, there are about 75 deaths every year.
What to Do If You’re in a California Crash
You could be one of the 9 per 100,000 California people who are involved in a fatal vehicle crash each year. With so many deadly accidents on California’s roadways, you can count yourself lucky if you survive a crash.
But even if you survive, you may be left with lasting injuries that impact your entire life. If you’re facing expensive medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma from a severe auto injury, you need a caring and assertive lawyer from our team – Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims, including road accident injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.