10 Most Dangerous Roads in Los Angeles

Where Are the Deadliest Freeways in Los Angeles?

most dangerous los angeles freeways

Los Angeles, one of the largest and most populous cities in the United States, is a global city known as home to the Hollywood film industry. With over 3.8 million residents, Los Angeles boasts a vast network of highways, freeways, and surface streets that crisscross its urban landscape. However, beneath the glitz and glamour lies a sobering reality. The City of Angels is also home to some of the most dangerous roads in the country. Whether you’re a seasoned local or a first-time visitor to Los Angeles County, it’s important to know about the most dangerous roads in Los Angeles.


The Most Dangerous Highways in Los Angeles County

harbor freeway 110 and hollywood 101 freeway

Navigating the bustling streets of Los Angeles can be a daunting task, especially when considering the hazards posed by its most dangerous roads. From congested freeways to hazardous intersections, here are ten of the most dangerous highways in the City of Angels:

The Sierra Highway

The Sierra Highways connects Los Angeles to South Lake Tahoe and winds through rugged terrain. This dangerous freeway is known for its winding stretches, steep grades, blind curves, and limited visibility.

The 105 Freeway

The 105 Freeway serves as a vital east-west artery through Los Angeles County. This dangerous highway intersects with other busy freeways including the 405, the 110, and the 710. The 105 is known for having heavy traffic congestion, frequent accidents, and challenging merges, particularly during peak travel times.

Interstate 5

Interstate 5 is the main north–south interstate highway on the West Coast. As one of the busiest highways in Southern California, Interstate 5 sees a high volume of traffic and is prone to accidents, especially in areas with complex interchanges and high-speed traffic.

Interstate 15

According to a study conducted by MoneyGeek, Interstate 15 Between Exit 138 and Exit 129 is California’s deadliest stretch of road. Stretching through the northern outskirts of Los Angeles, this dangerous freeway has a rate of 4.2 fatal accidents per mile.

The 405 Freeway From Interstate 110 to Interstate 10

Los Angeles 110 Freeway Skyline

This dangerous stretch of the 405 Freeway is notorious for its heavy traffic that often comes to a halt during rush hours during peak travel times, leading to lengthy delays and an increased risk of rear-end collisions. Interstate 10 runs from Santa Monica through LA and ranks as the 5th most dangerous highway in California.

Route 74

Also known as the Ortega Highway, Route 74 meanders through mountainous terrain, featuring sharp turns, steep inclines, and limited shoulder space, posing significant challenges for drivers, especially motorcyclists and commercial vehicles.

Route 118

Running through the San Fernando Valley, Route 118 experiences heavy traffic congestion and frequent accidents, particularly at its junctions with other major highways, where merging lanes become congested and accidents are common.

Route 101

Despite offering scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, Route 101 is plagued by congestion and accidents, especially in densely populated urban areas like Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles, where traffic volumes are highest.

State Road 138

Cutting through the high desert region, State Road 138 is prone to accidents to due factors including narrow lanes, motorists often traveling through at high speeds, and encounters with wildlife. It is a particularly dangerous road for drivers at night or during adverse weather conditions.

State Road 1

Stretching along the picturesque coastline of Southern California, State Road 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, features sharp curves, blind corners, and limited visibility in certain sections, posing challenges for drivers navigating its scenic but dangerous route.


LA’s Most Unsafe Intersections 

  • Vermont Avenue at Florence Avenue
  • Sepulveda Boulevard at Sherman Way
  • Highland Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard
  • San Pedro Street at Washington Boulevard
  • Oxnard Street at Van Nuys Boulevard
  • Manchester Avenue at Figueroa Street
  • Burbank Boulevard at Sepulveda Boulevard
  • Manchester Avenue at Avalon Boulevard
  • Manchester Avenue at Normandie Avenue


Statistics on Los Angeles Traffic Fatalities

Los Angeles, with its urban landscape and dense population, sadly witnesses a significant number of traffic fatalities each year. Here are some sobering statistics regarding traffic fatalities in the city:

  • In 2021, there were over 59,603 traffic-related fatalities and injuries reported in Los Angeles County alone.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists accounted for a high number of traffic fatalities. In 2021, there were 4,079 pedestrians and 1,877 bicyclists who were killed and injured in Los Angeles traffic accidents.
  • Alcohol-impaired driving continues to be a leading cause of fatal accidents in Los Angeles. In the city of Los Angeles, there were 3,869 DUI arrests reported in 2021.
  • Speeding and reckless driving are also significant contributors to traffic fatalities in LA. In 2021, there were 1,558 speed-related fatal and injury crashes.


Why are There so Many Car Crashes in Los Angeles?

distracted drivers

The alarmingly high number of car crashes in Los Angeles can be attributed to several factors, including:


In 2021, 1,509 people in California lost their lives in speeding-related traffic crashes. Exceeding the posted speed limit not only increases the risk of accidents but also magnifies the severity of resulting injuries or fatalities. Speeding reduces the driver’s ability to react to unexpected hazards, such as sudden stops or pedestrian crossings.

Traffic Congestion

Los Angeles ranks among the 10 most congested cities in the US. According to recent statistics, in 2022, the average driver in Los Angeles lost 95 hours spent in traffic. Los Angeles is notorious for its traffic congestion, which increases the likelihood of accidents due to frequent stop-and-go conditions and congestion-related behaviors such as aggressive driving and lane weaving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the task of driving. In 2021, 140 people lost their lives in California in crashes involving a distracted driver. Notably, this was an increase of 27.3% from 2020.

Distracted driving has become a significant problem in Los Angeles, contributing to a rise in rear-end collisions and other preventable accidents. A 2023 OST Public Opinion survey revealed that 74.2% of Californians identified distracted driving as their biggest safety concern on California roadways.

Drunk Driving

Intoxicated drivers pose a grave danger to themselves and others on the road. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. Impaired drivers exhibit compromised judgment, slowed reaction times, and poor motor skills. From 2009 to 2018, 9,288 people were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Despite strict DUI laws and enforcement efforts, drunk driving remains a prevalent problem in Los Angeles.

Infrastructure Challenges

Broken and damaged infrastructure, poorly maintained roads, and inadequate signage contribute to hazardous driving conditions in Los Angeles.

Weather Conditions

Approximately 21% of auto accidents in the US are weather-related. While Los Angeles enjoys mostly mild weather, inclement weather including fog and rainstorms can create slick road surfaces and poor visibility.


How to Avoid Car Accidents on Los Angeles Roads

While navigating the streets of Los Angeles can be challenging, there are steps drivers can take to reduce their risk of being involved in a car accident:

  • Plan Your Route: Before hitting the road, use navigation apps or traffic reports to identify the least congested routes and avoid accident-prone areas. Apps like SoCal 511 provide real-time traffic information in the Southern California 5 county region that includes: Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and Ventura.
  • Drive Defensively: Be vigilant and anticipate the actions of other drivers, especially in heavy traffic or unfamiliar areas. Leave ample space between your vehicle and the one in front of you to allow for sudden stops or lane changes.
  • Avoid Distractions: Keep your focus on the road by putting away electronic devices, avoiding multitasking, and refraining from activities that take your attention away from driving.
  • Obey Traffic Laws: Respect speed limits, follow traffic signals, and yield the right of way as required by law.
  • Maintain Your Vehicle: Regular maintenance checks ensure that your vehicle is in optimal condition, reducing the likelihood of mechanical failures that could lead to accidents.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive: Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options such as ridesharing or public transportation.
  • Be Prepared for Inclement Weather: In the event of rain or fog, reduce your speed, increase following distance, and use headlights to improve visibility. Avoid sudden maneuvers that could cause loss of control.
  • Stay Calm in Traffic: Traffic jams and delays are inevitable in Los Angeles, however, when drivers engage in reckless driving behaviors like speeding or sudden lane changes it only adds to the congestion and increases the risk of accidents.


Consult an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

los angeles car accident lawyer

If you were a victim of an auto accident on these dangerous LA roads, you may be able to pursue compensation. Navigating the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and insurance claims. An experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyer can represent you if the insurance company is delaying your case or denying liability.

At Alpha Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping injured auto accident victims recover the maximum compensation. Our personal injury attorneys can review the details of your case, gather compelling evidence, assess liability, and advise you on the best course of action for pursuing full and fair compensation. Call our Los Angeles law office today to schedule a free consultation.

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