Some streets simply pose a higher danger to drivers than others. While an accident can certainly occur at any time, on any road, some roads see a higher rate of accidents than others.
When you know the location of those streets, you can exercise a higher level of vigilance, avoid those streets during their most dangerous times, or take steps to protect you and your passengers as you travel them.
What Makes a Street Dangerous?
Many factors can contribute to the dangers you may face on the road. Some areas may become more dangerous in bad weather. Others may simply lack the safety features you need to keep you safe. Take a look at some of these common factors of dangerous roads.
#1. Heavy Traffic
Many of California’s roads, especially those around San Diego and other popular destinations, see a heavy degree of traffic every day. More drivers can, in many cases, mean more potential for accidents, especially during high-volume times.
Increased traffic on the roads may also increase overall driver frustration, which can increase the odds that drivers will engage in potentially dangerous behavior that could raise accident risk for them and others around them.
#2. Winding Roads and Sharp Turns
Navigating turns can prove more difficult than simply navigating a straight stretch of road. On winding roads, many drivers, especially motorcycle riders, may quickly lose control. California also contains several stretches of road that wind through the mountains, where sharp drops at the side of the road can further raise accident risk.
#3. Narrow Roads
Narrow roads, especially those that do not contain a divided median, can offer several challenges that may increase the risk of an accident.
First, those roads may increase the risk of head-on collisions, broadside collisions, or sideswipe collisions when one vehicle drifts out of its assigned line.
Next, narrow roads can prove more difficult to navigate in general. Even some of California’s highways and interstates have stretches that contain narrow lanes, which can increase the risk of an accident.
#4. Poor Lighting
In poor lighting conditions, many drivers have a hard time judging what will happen next around them. While drivers have headlights, they may not provide enough visibility to avoid collisions.
Drivers may have a hard time seeing turnoffs, observing changes in the road ahead, or even keeping track of the next twist or turn in the road, all of which can raise the risk of an accident.
#5. Heavy Pedestrian or Cyclist Traffic
Pedestrians and cyclists may add an extra layer of complication to many roads. Pedestrians and cyclists fit a different visual profile and behave differently on the road than passenger vehicles. Drivers may have a harder time predicting those individuals’ actions.
They may even forget to make room for them, since drivers often keep their attention focused on other vehicles around them instead of paying careful attention to slower-moving vehicles, like bicycles, or pedestrians.
#6. Significant Big Truck Traffic
Big trucks continue to travel across California at a rapid rate. Truck drivers currently face more pressure than ever to make their deliveries as fast as possible. Unfortunately, big trucks may pose additional risks.
Big trucks can prove more difficult to maneuver than the average passenger vehicle. Big truck drivers may also struggle with large blind spots and decreased visibility compared to other vehicles. Roads that see a great deal of big truck traffic may face a higher overall accident risk.
#7. Dangerous Intersections
Some dangerous intersections fit the same general criteria as dangerous roads: they may have poor lighting, heavy amounts of pedestrian traffic, or see a great deal of traffic each day.
Dangerous intersections may also have unclear labeling and signs or see drivers that travel at high rates of speed. Roads with dangerous intersections may see more accidents each year than roads with safer, better lit, and better-controlled intersections.
The Most Dangerous Streets in San Diego
Driving in San Diego can prove complicated, particularly during rush hour. However, some streets in the San Diego area see a considerably higher rate of potential accidents than others.
1. Freeway 67
On the freeway, which stretches for around 25 miles, you will see a variety of turns and curves, which can make it more treacherous to navigate. Unfortunately, many people continue to race down Freeway 67 as they use it as part of their daily commute.
2. Interstate 5
I-5 connects San Diego and Los Angeles with as many as six lanes on each roadside. It sees a high volume of traffic at any time of day, which means that drivers may face immense accident risks on the interstate. Unfortunately, traffic often backs up or slows down unexpectedly, which can increase the chance of an accident for unobservant drivers.
3. El Cajon Boulevard
Poor lighting, multiple lanes of traffic, and heavy pedestrian traffic: El Cajon has all the ingredients of a road where disaster can happen instantly. Unfortunately, many drivers try to speed down El Cajon, which can increase the risk of a serious accident for drivers exercising care and caution.
4. Interstate 15
On Interstate 15, frequent traffic accidents often shut down the interstate altogether, increasing the risk of further accidents. Interstate 15 may also see a high rate of drunk drivers, which may make it more dangerous, particularly for drivers traveling down the interstate late at night.
The Most Dangerous Road in Bakersfield: Highway 99
Highway 99, which runs through Bakersfield, sees almost daily accidents, according to Robert Rodriguez, at the public information office for the California Highway Patrol in Bakersfield. On Highway 99, long stretches without lighting can significantly raise the risk of a serious accident.
Drivers may also have a hard time navigating the tight traffic that moves through Highway 99 every day. Many sources, including a Value Penguin survey, note that Highway 99 could be among the most dangerous roads in America.
Rosedale Highway, Nord Avenue, and Kern Canyon Road can also pose significant dangers to Bakersfield drivers.
The Most Dangerous Road in El Centro: I-8
USA Today names El Centro as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States for drivers. Its biggest offender? I-8. Interstate 8 often sees high winds, heavy traffic, and a high risk of traffic incidents. I-8 runs for around 171 miles within California and sees a high number of accidents, including dozens of fatalities each year.
The Most Dangerous Roads in Palm Springs
Palm Springs may offer activities and fun for all ages, but drivers taking to the road in Palm Springs should carefully evaluate the safety issues they may face when they take to the roads.
1. Dillon Road
Dillon Road continues relatively straight as it moves through Coachella Valley and sees comparatively minimal traffic. Nevertheless, Dillon Road sees a high number of traffic accidents each year, due in part to the fact that drivers on Dillon Road often travel at very high rates of speed.
2. Highway 62
Highway 62, which runs from Palm Springs to the Mexican border, has poor lighting and speeds that change regularly. With speed limits ranging from 35 to 65 in some areas of the highway, it can prove very difficult for drivers to keep up with the latest changes, especially at night. Long stretches of the highway also lack medians that can separate traffic on opposing sides, which can mean increased accident risk from broadside collisions, center lane drifting, or turning left across traffic in dangerous locations.
3. Highway 74
Along Highway 74, drivers may struggle to control their vehicles through hairpin turns and high speeds. While it has gorgeous open stretches of road and overlooks incredible scenery, Highway 74 nevertheless quickly proves deadly to visitors. It includes sections that carry nicknames like Dead Man’s Curve and Blood Alley: evidence of past motorcyclists and drivers alike who have attempted to navigate this dangerous stretch of road and failed to keep themselves safe.
The Most Dangerous Road in Rancho Mirage: Highway 111
Highway 111 may not be as hazardous as some of the other roads named on the list, but it, like many of the roads throughout California, can endanger drivers who do not exercise adequate caution.
Not only can Highway 111 see a heavy amount of traffic each day, unexpected sinkholes, and regular construction as workers seek to repair damage caused by those sinkholes can also raise the risks.
The Most Dangerous Streets in Riverside
Riverside, California sees heavy traffic and contains potentially dangerous roads.
1. Van Buren Boulevard
Dangerous intersections on Van Buren Boulevard raise the risk of serious accidents, including the Van Buren Boulevard intersections with Indiana Avenue and Trautwein Road, where many accidents occur each year. Van Buren Avenue includes some of the busiest intersections in Riverside, making it a road that drivers should travel carefully.
2. Highway 74/Ortega Highway
Along Highway 74, drivers will find an extremely dangerous stretch of road. This narrow stretch of road often contains dangerous curves and includes stretches of road that keep them close to the mountain. Many drivers feel extremely unsafe on this road, despite continuing awareness of the potential dangers and pressure to improve conditions and raise overall safety.
The Most Dangerous Road in San Bernardino: Interstate 10
San Bernardino’s most dangerous stretch of road falls along Interstate 10. I-10 contains twisting stretches of roads and often sees reckless drivers, including those who may choose to drive at a high rate of speed instead of exercising adequate care to protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the road with them.
The Most Dangerous Street in San Luis Obispo: US-101
San Luis Obispo contains US 101, which can prove extremely dangerous each year. While the traffic on US 101 may not take the winding road through the mountains, it does see heavy traffic each day. On US-101, often considered the most dangerous road in San Luis Obispo, many drivers suffer dangerous or fatal accidents each year. This stretch of road also contains the Wellsona Road and Highway 101 intersection known as one of the most dangerous intersections in the county.
The Most Dangerous Road in Solana Beach: Via De La Valle
Via De La Valle poses a substantial risk for motorcycle riders, who may struggle to maintain a safe speed or control their bikes as they move through the area. Via De La Valle also has potholes and deep ruts in the pavement, which can pose a danger to both motorcycle riders and the drivers of larger passenger vehicles.
Furthermore, Via De La Valle has areas where traffic lines do not offer clear direction, which could confuse drivers and make them more difficult to navigate.
The Most Dangerous Roads in Temecula
Temecula contains potentially dangerous roads that drivers must navigate carefully.
1. Route 15
Route 15 sees a high degree of dangerous drivers. Dangerous intersections, including the intersection at Winchester Road, Temecula Parkway, and Santiago Road, run across it.
2. Interstate 15
Interstate 15, which also runs through San Diego, contains potential hazards, including a high risk of drunk drivers traveling through the area during the evening hours. Interstate 15 also has a high speed limit and may offer limited visibility due to the large number of trucks that use the road regularly.
Did You Suffer an Accident on One of California’s Dangerous Roads?
If you suffered serious injuries in an accident on one of California’s dangerous roads, a car accident attorney can help you learn more about your right to compensation.