California's Deadliest Roads - Adamson Ahdoot LLP

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California’s Deadliest Roads

October 13, 2022 María López Garcia
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Drunk driving and speeding account for more than half of all fatalities 

Unfortunately, traffic accidents are becoming a routine part of our daily lives. Many of the roads around populated areas are dangerously congested. This, coupled with the negligence of some drivers behind the wheel, leads to frequent collisions. And worse, in many fatalities. But what exactly are California’s deadliest roads, and why?

Based on data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the results show California as one of the locations with the most highway and roadway fatalities. As the most populated state in the country, it is also among the top three deadliest.

It is estimated that California has nearly 200,000 crashes per year that result in injury. Of those, more than 3,600, end in death. 

To learn exactly which areas are most lethal, researchers analyzed more than 10,000 fatal crashes that occurred in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In total, the report reviewed the 396,540 miles of roadway that run through California. The consequences that led to these deaths were also investigated, ranging from drunk drivers to speeding. 

Ranking of the Deadliest Highways and Roads

Due to the population density and congestion of its roads, it doesn’t seem odd to think that the deadliest roads are in California. Especially after taking a look at the statistics. The study focused on the state’s largest metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. 

The top ten list with the highest number of fatalities is the following:

  1. Hesperia. I-15. Between Exit 138 and Exit 129. 
  • Accidents: 19
  • Fatalities: 19
  • Distance: 4.5 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 4.2
  1. Berkeley – Oakland – Emeryville – Albany. I-80. Between Exit 14A and Exit 8A.
  • Crashes: 15
  • Fatalities: 17
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 3
  1. Richmond – El Cerrito – Pinole – San Pablo. I-80. Exit 15 to Exit 21.
  • Accidents: 13
  • Fatalities: 18
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.6
  1. Sacramento. I-5. From Del Paso Road to Railyards Boulevard.
  • Crashes: 13
  • Fatalities: 16
  • Distance: 4.9 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.6
  1. Colton – San Bernardino. I-215. Exit 44B to Exit 39.
  • Accidents: 13
  • Fatalities: 13
  • Distance: 4.7 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.7
  1. Menifee. SR-74. Between Melba Avenue and Third Street.
  • Crashes: 11
  • Fatalities: 12
  • Distance: 4.1 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.7
  1. Norwalk. I-605. From Exit 5B to Firestone Boulevard.
  • Accidents: 11
  • Fatalities: 12
  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.6
  1. San Jose. I-280. Meridian Avenue to Wilshire Boulevard.
  • Accidents: 11
  • Fatalities: 12
  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.5
  1. Apple Valley-Hesperia. Between Bear Valley Road and Tamarisk Road.
  • Crashes: 10
  • Fatalities: 13
  • Distance: 4.7 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2.1
  1. Garden Grove. SR-2. Exit 10 to Exit 5.
  • Accidents: 10
  • Fatalities: 13
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Fatal accidents per mile: 2

Why Are These California’s Deadliest Roads? 

In general, there are many factors that can affect a traffic accident. Some of the most common are:

  • Heavy and crowded traffic
  • Traffic jams
  • Drunk driving
  • Auto problems or defects in the car 
  • Weather conditions 
  • Bad road maintenance
  • Hazardous parts of highways
  • Distracted driving
  • Dangerous driving. Incidents of road rage can lead to reckless actions
  • Cell phone use: calling or texting
  • Eating

However, accurate numbers of these fatalities have been released. Exactly 27% of those killed in accidents were due to drunk driving. 

Driving above the speed limit accounted for 28% of the fatalities. Interestingly, California ranked 37th in the country in speeding violations. It is thought that the number would be much higher were it not for heavy traffic.

Distracted driving caused only 4% of the fatalities. The study points out that this percentage is one of the best in the country, being better than 92% of the rest of the states.

Among the most eye-opening results, Los Angeles stands out as the metropolitan area with the most fatalities. According to Urban Mobility, this is because LA is the fourth most congested region in the United States. However, the San Francisco metropolitan area has the deadliest roads in California, despite having half the population.

One of the reasons the Los Angeles metropolitan area has California’s deadliest roads is the poor condition of its roadways. The region is ranked number one with the most traffic on bridges in poor condition, according to Transportation for America. The average number of cars crossing these defective bridges is 396 per second. In other words, nearly 34 million drivers per day drive over structures that are in poor condition.

Which Month is the Deadliest?

The analysis has also indicated that November is the deadliest month. It accounts for up to 9.2% of the total number of fatal crashes. Although it is not known exactly why, it could be linked to the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays as one of the reasons.

Having an accident on California’s deadliest roads can be devastating.

What are the Cities with the Worst Drivers in California? 

The insurance company QuoteWizard has compiled a list of the worst drivers in the country. It shows California as the fourth worst-driving state in the nation. Specifically, the state has eight cities in the top 10 rankings, with Bakersfield taking the top spot.

Sacramento and Los Angeles rank second and fourth, respectively. They are followed by San Francisco, San Diego, Fresno, Riverside, and Richmond, which range from 5th to 9th.

Looking for a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles? We Can Help

Being the victim of a car accident can be devastating. Not only can it affect your health, but also your family’s financial well-being. The risk of driving on California’s deadliest roads every day is high, which is why it is important to have an experienced accident attorney on hand who will know how to handle your situation correctly.

Suffering injuries from an accident that is caused by another driver’s negligence can be frustrating. This is even worse if the injuries are severe or if the incident has resulted in death.

It is time to bring the responsible party to justice. Our California personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to successfully pursue your case. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we can give you the financial recovery and peace of mind you deserve. 

Call (800) 310-1606 today if you would like to learn more about your case. Our team is ready to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t be afraid to schedule a consultation, the first appointment is completely free and with no obligation.

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