There are over 400,000 traffic accidents in California every year, according to data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SITRS). You would think most accidents would occur in heavily populated areas. Intersections are notorious accident locations, as auto accident lawyers in the state know fully well.
Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, has lots of dangerous intersections. Of TomTom Traffic’s top 25 list of the world’s most congested cities, the city ranked #12. The most dangerous intersection in the state, however, is not here, but in Downey.
Downey is located southeast of Los Angeles. It’s known as the oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant. Kaiser Permanente, one of the world’s largest health care companies, employs 4,000 employees. Accidents maybe just a part of the city’s genetics. After all, it’s where the Apollo Space Program was founded.
Where Are the Most Dangerous Intersections?
In California, there are more than 14 million registered motor vehicles, including about 800,000 motorcycles. Accidents can happen anywhere, but the top 50, starting with the location of the highest number of crashes, can be found below (check to see if one is near you):
- Firestone Boulevard & Lakewood Boulevard (Downey)
- Pala Mission Road & Pala Temecula Road (Pala)
- Roscoe Boulevard & Van Nuys Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Nordhoff Street & Sepulveda Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Crenshaw Boulevard & Washington Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Imperial Highway & Vista Del Mar (Los Angeles)
- Balboa Boulevard & Nordhoff Street (Los Angeles)
- Roscoe Boulevard & Winnetka Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Euclid Street & Orangethorpe Avenue (Fullerton)
- Devonshire Street & Reseda Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Bridge Street & Gilman Springs Road (Moreno Valley)
- Magnolia Avenue & Tyler Street (Riverside)
- La Cienega & Pico Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Central Avenue & Vernon Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Figueroa Street & Manchester Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Reseda Boulevard & Roscoe Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Sherman Way & Woodman Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Van Nuys Boulevard & Victory Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Winchester Road & Ynez Road (Temecula)
- Balboa Boulevard & Burbank Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Reseda Boulevard & Victory Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- 3rd Street & Fairfax Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Alvarado Street & Temple Street (Los Angeles)
- Balboa Boulevard & Saticoy Street (Los Angeles)
- 190th Street & Vermont Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Balboa Boulevard & Devonshire Street (Los Angeles)
- La Brea Avenue & Rodeo Road (Los Angeles)
- Bolsa Avenue & Brookhurst Street (Westminster)
- Air Base Parkway & Clay Bank Road (Fairfield)
- De Soto Avenue & Saticoy Street (Los Angeles)
- Oxnard Street & Van Nuys Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Florence Avenue & Walker Avenue (Bell)
- Main Street & Manchester Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Calvine Road & Elk Grove Florin Road (Elk Grove)
- Central Avenue & El Segundo Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Victory Boulevard & Woodley Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Beverly Boulevard & Vermont Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Nordhoff Street & Reseda Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Pearblossom Highway & Sierra Highway (Palmdale)
- Lennox Avenue & Roscoe Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Kester Avenue & Vanowen Street (Los Angeles)
- Old Barona Road & Wild Canyon Road (Lakeside)
- Lindley Avenue & Roscoe Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Baseline Road & Riverside Avenue (Rialto)
- Florence Avenue & Vermont Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Victory Boulevard & Winnetka Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Los Robles Boulevard & Marysville Boulevard (Sacramento)
- Saint Andrews Place & Venice Boulevard (Los Angeles)
- Normandie Avenue & Slauson Avenue (Los Angeles)
- Challenger Way & Lancaster Boulevard (Lancaster)
Where Did This List of Dangerous Intersections Come From?
This list of dangerous intersections was created by 1 Point 21 Interactive, a data visualization and content marketing company. The agency compiled data from 425,000 accidents in 2015, as reported by the SITRS. Crashes were categorized based on their occurrence, deaths, injuries, and a crash score.
Every intersection on the list had at least 10 accidents that year. At Firestone and Lakewood in Downey, there were 36 crashes. The most fatalities occurred in Palmdale (Pearblossom Highway and Sierra Highway) and Moreno Valley (Bridge Street and Gilman Springs Road). There were three deaths at both these locations.
The most injuries (41), occurred at an intersection in Los Angeles (Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard). As far as the most crashes in L.A., the top five intersections included two locations on Roscoe Boulevard. There were 30 crashes at the intersection with Van Nuys Boulevard and 25 at Winnetka Avenue. Other spots in the top five were Nordhoff Street/Sepulveda Boulevard (27), Crenshaw Boulevard/Washington Boulevard (27), and Imperial Highway/Vista Del Mar (26).
The most common types of accidents involved cars, motorcycles, buses, pedestrians, and bicycles. On the 405 Freeway, small planes have been known to land or crash, causing accidents on that busy stretch of road.
Do Dangerous Intersections Change Over Time?
There is variability over time and with different sources. For example, CBS Los Angeles reported in January 2018 that Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard in Northridge was the most dangerous intersection in the state. From 2006 to 2016, 108 accidents occurred here and 29 children under age 14 involved in crashes and/or injured. This according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data compiled by Time Magazine.
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