11 Most Dangerous Highways and Roads in California

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11 Most Dangerous Highways and Roads in California

11 Most Dangerous Highways and Roads in California

Oct 1, 2020

From the winding beach roads and busy city avenues, to the five-lane highways and endless interstates, California has a wide range of possibilities for drivers seeking to get from Point A to Point B. And while a vehicle accident can happen on any type of roadway, there are certain conditions and situations that make some roadways more dangerous than others. For instance, low visibility, narrow lanes, dense traffic, poor navigability, speed limit, and many other factors can affect the danger level of a particular highway or road. In 2018, approximately 3,563 people died in traffic accidents in California. With so many car accidents, California was the state with the second-highest number of traffic deaths in the United States that year.

Californians, on average, drive around 14,500 miles annually. As a result, avoiding the issue of traffic safety is essentially impossible. Driving is a big part of most people’s lives, but this is especially true in the Golden State. Accordingly, traffic safety should be a major priority as well.

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California traffic accidents can leave victims severely injured, and tragically result in fatalities far too often. The more information drivers are equipped with when traveling our roadways, the better. Knowing when you are on a particularly dangerous road or highway may help you drive with a bit more vigilance when necessary, possibly preventing car accidents. We’ve outlined 11 of the most dangerous highways and roads in the state of California to help keep you safe and informed.

1) U.S. Route 199

The danger of U.S. Route 199 (also known as Redwood Highway) cannot be pinpointed to a single stretch of the road. Rather, throughout the 80-mile highway, one death occurs approximately every two miles. U.S. Route 199 contains a dangerous mixture of narrow and twisting lanes, with a great deal of distracting views for drivers. Most driver deaths from U.S. Route 199 car accidents are a result of vehicles swerving off the road and colliding with large trees.

2) Highway 1

Highway 1 is an extremely narrow and winding roadway. In fact, it narrows to almost one lane each way throughout the entire Big Sur region. Rain or shine, the dangers of this road are always present. Beautiful, sunny views commonly distract drivers, and rain and moisture can cause mudslides and rockslides. And with the stunning cliffs and overlooks, a small swerve can turn into a deadly plummet resulting in a fatal car accident. This road is as dangerous as it is scenic.

3) State Route 138

This roadway has earned notorious nicknames such as “highway of death,” “blood alley,” and “death road.” State Route 138 winds from Interstate 15 to the town of Palmdale and accrues an unfortunate number of annual deaths in this moderate distance. Sections of Route 138 are infamous for their steep, mountainous landscapes, sharp S-turns, and dramatic drop-offs. This road used to average about 10 deaths per year. However, in 2006, the government began improvements to the road to create wider lanes and better visibility. The road is now a bit safer than before, but still remains highly dangerous for California drivers.

4) State Route 99

A report by Value Penguin found State Route 99 to be the most dangerous highway in the United States. This road runs through California’s central valley and accumulates about 62.3 deadly car accidents per 100 miles. That statistic means more fatal car accidents occur on SR-99 than any other highway in the country. Most fatal car accidents on SR-99 occur in Fresno. Other areas, such as the stretch through Bakersfield and to the Grapevine, are also dangerous. Drunk driving and poor visibility due to dark roads are two big factors contributing to the safety issues on SR-99. This road is also ranked as the nation’s darkest highway, and about 40% of the traffic accidents happen at night. There is a lack of lighting along the road and sometimes car headlights are insufficient. Moreover, SR-99 ranks second for highways with the most drunk drivers. Between 2011 and 2015, the road accumulated 16.9 fatal car accidents per 100 miles.

5) 1-10 Freeway

Interstate 10 was ranked by the Value Penguin report, referenced above, as the fourth most dangerous highway in the United States. This freeway runs from California to Florida, and has been deemed the “deadliest” freeway with approximately 1,342 fatal crashes between 2011 and 2015. Drunk driving and dark driving conditions also contribute greatly to the ample number of car accidents along this dangerous roadway.

6) I-15 California

Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is one of the deadliest stretches of road in the country. A study from the U.S. Department of Transportation found that from 1994 to 2008, 1,069 people perished in 834 car accidents along California I-15. Many of the traffic fatalities occurring on this roadway are attributable to human factors such as driving at an excessive speed, driving while impaired from alcohol, failing to wear a seatbelt, texting, using cell phones, etc. However, the road itself may also be to blame for some car accident deaths. The stretch of I-15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is a straight road in the middle of the desert where drivers can see for miles all around them. Sadly, this frequently results in drivers increasing their speed and failing to pay proper attention to the road.

7) I-5 California

Interstate 5 freeway- 11 Most Dangerous Highways and Roads in California
Interstate 5 in California is home to more than one million motorists per day. But it is also the location of dozens of fatal car accidents every year. The stretch of I-5 that runs through Orange County is a particularly dangerous area due to the increased number of semi-trucks traversing to and from Los Angeles each day.

8) U.S. Route 101

While the views from U.S. Route 101 are spectacular, they also make for distracting driving opportunities that can turn deadly for drivers. This stretch of road-from its southernmost point in Los Angeles to its northernmost point in Valley-averaged a staggering one fatality every 1.3 miles over a seven-year period.

9) Interstate 8

The portion of Interstate 8 that goes through San Diego County is identified as the most dangerous section of this road. From 2010 to 2016, Interstate 8 was home to 134 fatal crashes resulting in 145 deaths. The Interstate is about 171 miles long within the borders of California. This equates to 1.3 car crashes per mile.

10) State Route 2

Between 2010 and 2016, State Route 2 accrued 52 fatal vehicle/motorist crashes and 54 deaths. This highway reaches the high elevation point of 7,903 feet, and the eastern portions of the Angeles Crest Highway are infamously dangerous due to their switchbacks and blind curves. Large portions of State Route 2 are often so dangerous during the winter due to heavy snowfall that they are closed for extended periods.

11) State Route 78

State Route 78 runs through San Diego County and accrued 62 car crashes and 75 deaths between 2010 and 2016. This number may seem lower than others referenced above, but SR-78 deserves a dangerous reputation due to the density of these fatal crashes. SR-78 is only 215 miles long, so 62 crashes and 72 deaths are actually exceedingly high for such a short stretch of road when compared to other highways such as Interstate 5 (which is almost 800 miles long).

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Have You Been the Victim of a Car Accident?

Have You Been the Victim of a Car Accident?
Without the assistance of an attorney, it can be very difficult to pursue a claim to recover monetary compensation for a car accident. The legal process can be a daunting task for a car accident victim to undertake alone. This is precisely why it benefits accident victims to contact an expert car accident attorney at Dordulian Law Group (“DLG”). Contacting a reputable attorney is the most important step to getting compensated for your injuries from a car accident.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Dordulian Law Group will fight for your rights as an injured victim and ensure that you receive the largest possible amount of financial compensation under the law. Our attorneys have over two decades of experience representing clients who have been injured in car accidents, recovering over $100 million for personal injury victims like you.

The DLG team includes former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Samuel Dordulian, as well as our Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, a former LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective with over 30 years of experience.

The bottom line is, DLG attorneys will fight to get you what you deserve after being injured in a car accident. We are well-equipped to take on and win your case, helping you ease the process of healing from the accident by ensuring you never have to worry about paying for exorbitant medical bills. We are here to help prevent you from ever having to cover any out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from your car accident. Various types of related expenses can include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact a DLG car accident attorney today to learn more about how we can help you.

When Should a Car Accident Victim Contact a DLG Lawyer?

There is no such thing as contacting a car accident lawyer too soon. Personal injury cases are best handled as soon as possible after the accident. Once you hire an experienced DLG personal injury attorney, we can take on the responsibility of communicating (and negotiating) with your insurance company and medical providers. If you wait too long to contact a lawyer, it is possible that the value of your case may be reduced, or even deemed ineligible to file. Every case is subject to a statute of limitations, or time limit, in which a person is required to file a civil claim (typically two years for personal injury car accidents). The sooner you contact a DLG lawyer, the sooner we can contact witnesses, preserve evidence, and negotiate the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive. You may be entitled to significant damages for compensation towards medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

If you believe you have a personal injury case and wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning expert attorneys online or by phone today.

You Don’t Pay if We Don’t Win Your Los Angeles, California Car Accident Case

DLG attorneys always have the best interest of our clients in mind, putting your needs first. At DLG, we handle all cases on a contingency basis, or “no win, no fee” agreement. This means that the injured victim (called the “plaintiff” in a lawsuit) does not have to pay us a penny if we do not win their case.

When we take on a car accident case, we’re confident in our experience and ability to handle it successfully and recover the maximum financial damages award available. That’s why we’re able to ensure you pay nothing up-front. We only collect a percentage of any settlement or verdict that we win for you. This means that if we accept your case, we not only believe we can win – we will do everything in our power to ensure we prevail. Additionally, when we accept your case, it signifies we are willing to invest our time, energy, and resources into recovering the maximum compensation possible for you. With DLG on your side, you can focus all of your efforts on recovery and healing. Let us handle the stressful details for you, fighting as your dedicated legal advocate following a Glendale or Los Angeles-area car accident.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Here are DLG, we offer free consultations with experienced attorneys. All consultations are confidential and there will be absolutely no obligation for you to hire us afterward. During your free consultation, a DLG lawyer will review the facts of your car accident claim, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options. If you would like a free consultation for your car accident or personal injury case, call us at 800-880-7777 or request a case evaluation online. We’re here to help you in whatever way we can.

Spanish version: Las 11 carreteras más peligrosas de California

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