The Most Dangerous Interstates in Southern California  

Categories: Vehicle Accidents

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) says that with 25 different route numbers and 2,455 miles of roadways, California is second in both routes and miles of interstate highways in the nation. While No. 2 in both routes and miles, California is No. 1 when it comes to interstate use, leading second-place Texas by almost 40% when it comes to millions of vehicle miles traveled. This means cars, lots of cars, on the interstates of California each and every day.

Traveling on our freeways can be not only frustrating and time-consuming, it can also be dangerous. Here is a look at some of the most dangerous interstates in Southern California.

  • I-5 – Two sections of Interstate 5 in Southern California have been noted as particularly dangerous. One is a section in San Diego County; the other is located in Los Angeles County. In October of 2007, a tunneled Los Angeles County section was the scene of a 26-car pile-up and engulfing fire that killed three. A year later, it was named the most dangerous highway in the United States. While perhaps not as spectacular in nature as the 2007 incident, accidents are routine on both stretches of I-5 in these two counties.
  • I-8 – A combination of what many feel is poor design and engineering, winding curves, heavy truck use, uneven lanes, increasing use, and thin lanes have made I-8 in San Diego a challenge for all drivers. Visitors to the area driving here in rental cars and unfamiliar with the road add to the danger of this section of interstate.
  • I-10 – While it spans from here to Jacksonville, FL, the section of I-10 in San Bernardino County is often voted one of the most dangerous sections of freeway in the entire country. Sharp curves, fast blending traffic, and frequent blind spots all add to this highway’s often being thought of as one of the most infamous in the country.
  • I-15 – Aggressive drivers, road rage, and commuters in a hurry make this Interstate in Riverside, CA, one to avoid. Drivers here love to change lanes quickly, and this stretch of highway seems to attract a large number of motorcyclists who like to use their size advantage in creating new lanes for themselves.
  • I-40 – Traveling to and from San Bernardino on Interstate 40 can be a challenge for even the most experienced California driver. Hundreds of accidents occur in the area around San Bernardino annually, accounting for dozens of deaths. The hotter the California sun, the slicker this highway seems to get, contributing to the risky conditions on this stretch of road.

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