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The Most Dangerous Roads in California


California has more than 170,000 miles of roadway, consisting of a combination of Interstate highways, state highways, local roads, city streets, and other roadways. Some of these roads are more dangerous than others, including:

Interstate 5 (I-5)

The section of I-5 in and around San Diego is notorious for accidents. Those who have used “The 5,” especially at “The Merge” where I-5 and I-805 come together, can attest to the chaotic and dangerous nature of this roadway. Despite increased funding and planning in recent years, including additional bypass lanes to help alleviate the traffic load at “The Merge,” I-5 in the San Diego area remains a treacherous stretch of Interstate roadway.

State Route 138

This road has been called “the California death way,” “highway of death,” and “bloody alley.” While construction has made the highway wider and somewhat safer, State route 138 – between State Road 18 and I-5 – remains dangerous. It was named as one of America’s 10 Most Dangerous Roads by Popular Mechanics.


This stretch of Interstate running from Los Angeles to Las Vegas has long been one of the deadliest sections of highway in the nation. It is one of the busiest highways in the entire United States, and all of that traffic leads to many accidents every year. It consistently ranks in the top five deadliest roads in America (according to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration figures), and topped the list as recently as 2010.

State Route 62

Running from I-10 to the Arizona state line, SR-62 is a recognized scenic highway. Perhaps the scenery of the high desert distracts drivers, as this highway is one of the deadliest in the state. More than 180 people have been killed on SR-62 over the past 15 years. The majority of accidents on this route take place between I-10 and Twentynine Palms.

Accidents Can Also Occur on Local Roads, and Harm More Than Just Motorists

City streets are not immune from dangers that traffic poses, especially in pedestrian and bike-friendly cities such as San Diego. For example, by the end of January 2015, 4 pedestrians had already been killed along San Diego city streets. This accident occurred at the intersection of University Avenue and 47th Street, one of the deadliest areas for pedestrians in the city.