Stretching from Kern, San Bernardino, and San Luis Obispo Counties down to the southernmost tip of the state, Southern California features some of the Golden State’s most beautiful scenery and most desirable property, not to mention the heart of its film industry. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad, and for all its positive qualities, Southern California also contains some of the state’s deadliest, most dangerous roads and highways. Our Ventura personal injury lawyers count down five of Southern California’s worst roads with the most accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Southern California Car Accident Statistics by County
Streaked with nearly 400,000 miles of asphalt, California has the nation’s second highest number of road miles, surpassed only by Texas. Certain stretches of road have earned checkered reputations due to disproportionately high numbers of accidents and deaths – and unfortunately, many are located in Southern California.
Even with more than 4,600 people killed or injured in auto accidents during 2013, Ventura County actually has a relatively low number of serious auto accidents when compared to other counties in Southern California, which tells you how dangerous driving in SoCal can really be. Ranked, the Southern California counties with the highest numbers of crash-related deaths and injuries during 2013 were:
- Los Angeles – 73,753
- Orange – 19,989
- Riverside – 10,985
- San Bernardino – 12,441
- San Diego – 18,099
- Kern – 5,052
- Ventura – 4,628
- Santa Barbara – 2,626
- San Luis Obispo – 1,433
- Imperial – 756
According to California Highway Patrol data, there were 3,223 injury crashes in Ventura County during 2013, with 61 fatal crashes. The Ventura County city with the most injury accidents (691) and fatal accidents (10) was Oxnard. The CHP report also documented more accidents on Ventura County’s unincorporated state highways (17 fatal, 285 injury) than on county roadways (eight fatal, 242 injury).
But which Southern California roads are the most dangerous? Keep reading to see five of the worst.
5 of the Deadliest and Most Dangerous Roads and Highways in SoCal
Our Ventura car accident lawyers are frequently contacted by crash victims who have been hurt in wrecks on the following roads. While automotive accidents happen all over the state, the five roads below are among the worst and most common culprits.
- Interstate 5 – Covering a span just shy of 800 miles, Interstate 5 (or, as it’s simply known to locals, “the Five”) runs north to south throughout California, terminating near San Diego by the Mexico-U.S. border. Speeding is common on I-5’s many barren, monotonous stretches, which is a major factor that contributes to preventable accidents. I-5 had roughly 800 fatalities over a four-year period.
- Interstate 15 – I-15 covers nearly 300 miles, running from the Nevada border to San Diego. In 2013, Popular Mechanics included the stretch from L.A. to Las Vegas on its list of “10 of America’s Most Dangerous Roads,” noting “a death toll of 173 people in a five-year span prior to 2005.” I-15 was also featured a 2010 list compiled by The Daily Beast that ranked “the 100 Interstates Most Likely to Cause a Fatal Crash.” Unfortunately, I-15 came in fourth place, with 437 fatal crashes and 506 fatalities from 2004 to 2008.
- Interstate 10 – I-10 in California also secured a spot on The Daily Beast’s list, taking fifth place just behind I-15. From 2004 to 2008, this interstate was the site of 341 fatal accidents, resulting in 387 fatalities.
- Interstate 8 – I-8 may be less deadly than the other interstates on our list, but with 136 fatal accidents causing over 150 deaths during the period from 2004 to 2008, Interstate 8 is another extremely dangerous California road.
- State Route 126 – In February 1996, the Los Angeles Times published an article about the dangers of California 126, writing that “despite the beauty, to drive along the 126 is to flirt with mortality.” The article went on to cite 34 deaths between 1990 and 1994, many along a “two-lane, six-mile segment of the 126 known as ‘Blood Alley.’” More than 20 years later, little had changed. In October 2016, VC Reporter noted eight deaths on the same road in over just seven months.
Drivers and passengers aren’t the only people in danger on California’s roads, either. In May 2014, Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition released a statistical report, tellingly titled “Dangerous by Design,” on traffic fatalities and pedestrian accidents in California.
While you won’t find pedestrians strolling down major highways like I-15, smaller roadways still pose a threat when motorists are careless or drive aggressively. The report revealed that during the period from 2003 to 2012, 85 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area, accounting for nearly 13% of the area’s traffic-related deaths. A total of 676 people were killed in traffic accidents overall in the same location during the same time period. Our California pedestrian accident lawyers may be able to help if a loved one was hit by a car while walking, running, or jogging.
Ventura Car Crash Lawyers Handling Injury Claims
There are many dangerous roads in California, including some you might commute on every day, or use every weekend to visit with loved ones. In many cases, safety hazards such as poor visibility, potholes and cracked surfaces, or faded signage contribute to accidents. In nearly all cases, at least one driver is at fault.
If you or one of your loved ones was recently injured in a car accident in Southern California, compensation may be available for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. To talk about your auto accident claim in a free and confidential legal consultation with an experienced Ventura truck accident lawyer, car accident attorney, or pedestrian injury lawyer, call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC at (805) 585-5056.