Driving around in Orange County seems to get more dangerous as the days go by and the population grows, bringing more motor vehicles onto the roads and freeways.
It is bad enough having to drive on roads with potholes, missing stop signs, or broken street lights, but when you combine that with aggressive drivers you end up with a lot of accidents.
For many people living in Orange County the daily commute can easily be over 1 hour each way, that equates to more than 40 hours per month just driving to and from work.
The bottom line is drivers in Orange County can be in a hurry and straight up rude, so drive with caution even on the weekends when you aren’t commuting.
And if you have teenagers driving now you definitely want to make them aware of how dangerous driving can be in OC.
We have compiled a list below of some of the most dangerous roads in Orange County.
How To Avoid Car Accidents In Orange County
We wish we could tell you there is a magic way to avoid being involved in a car accident here in Orange County, but the truth is there is only so much you can do.
If you drive in OC daily to work, or you just drive to college or whatever, you are definitely at risk every time you get behind the wheel.
Even though you can’t guarantee that you’ll avoid being in a car accident there are things you can do to lower the odds.
Below are some tips to help drive safe:
- Don’t speed (still a leading cause of accidents)
- Don’t drive distracted
- Keep your car maintained to avoid mechanical errors
- If you need glasses wear them, etc.
- Don’t drive drunk or under influence of prescription meds
- Follow all the rules of the road
- Don’t drive aggressively or drowsy
Ortega Highway is one of the most scenic roads in Southern California, but it’s also one of the most dangerous in all of OC.
Known as “State Route 74”, it stretches from the I-5 in San Juan Capistrano all the way to Riverside across a natural wild region in South OC.
Ortega Highway is well known for attracting motorcycle riders (especially on the weekends) who want to get their bikes out for a ride.
This highway is very narrow and extremely winding road which of course makes it dangerous for cars and motorcyclists, and every year we hear about motorcycle riders being killed or injured on Ortega Highway.
Alternative Routes: If you want to avoid this road and the dangers that loom there, then you need to take a more northern route like the 55 to the 91, and from there you can take I-15 or the 215 south.
Beach Blvd runs along State Route 39 from the coast in Huntington Beach all the way up through Orange County and ends in Los Angeles.
This is a very busy roadway that connects many key downtown areas of Northern Orange County.
Parts of Beach Boulevard are better than others, and some of the worst intersections on Beach Blvd. exist in the city of Stanton.
In 2015 the intersection of Beach Blvd and Chapman Avenue had 15 collisions which is over 1 per month, and another report showed Beach Boulevard had over 4800 accidents.
Many of the intersections along Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach have also gotten progressively worse because HB keeps growing and adding residents, and more residents means more cars, which means more accidents.
Beach Blvd and Warner Avenue is a bad spot for accidents, and so is Beach Boulevard and PCH due to the large number of pedestrians and bicycle riders living in HB that are active at the beach.
Alternative Routes: Beach Boulevard runs through the heart of HB and into Garden Grove, Westminster, and Buena Park. Other access roads include Golden West Street, Magnolia Street, and Western Ave.
Laguna Canyon Road
Part of State Route 133 is known as Laguna Canyon Road which offers access south of Irvine.
Even though this road is in the middle of Orange County and surrounded by local development, it still offers some of the best scenery and natural wilderness in the area.
At nighttime this road is particularly dangerous due to bad visibility and drunk drivers coming home from a night out, but sadly speed is always a major factor for many accidents.
Alternative Routes: Laguna Canyon Road is not exactly centrally located, so most drivers do have multiple options if they want a safe route.
To get back and forth from the beach to inland areas you could always take Jeffrey Road(University Drive) to Jamboree which runs right into Newport Beach.
The I-5 Freeway runs basically the entire way from Canada to Mexico and is well known for being a dangerous road in any county you drive in.
Of course like every major freeway in California there are some sections that are just outright deadly to drive on, but sometimes you have no choice.
If you take the I – 5 in OC, then beware of the merge where Interstate 5 hits the 405. This stretch is extremely busy during commute hours.
Also the 5 Freeway and Alicia Parkway is very dangerous with double digit accidents reported every year.
Alternative Routes: Avoiding the I-5 in Orange County is like trying to avoid getting a cough in the winter, it’s almost impossible.
The parkway starts at Crown Valley Parkway in Laguna Niguel and moves along for several miles before it ends at Santa Margarita Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Statistics show that the most dangerous part of this road is in Mission Viejo.
There are 3 intersections on Alicia Parkway that are notoriously bad for accidents, those are at Jeronimo Road, Charlinda Drive, and I-5.
Alternative Routes: Finding another way is difficult because Alicia Parkway sits among a lot of vacant land and there aren’t many roads that run parallel, but one option is Los Alisos Boulevard in Mission Viejo.
If you live in Orange County then you know how dangerous the 405 is.
Everyday there are numerous accidents and every year there are car accident fatalities on the 405.
Construction began on the 405 in 1957 and ever since it’s helped millions of drivers get around Southern California.
All vehicles are at risk on the 405, with semi-trucks, motorcycles, and even sometimes a bicyclist riding illegally on the freeway.
There are a million options to avoid the 405, but since it cuts right down the center of OC it’s pretty hard to avoid taking the 405.
Located in central Orange County, Bristol Street is well known to be very dangerous with many car accidents during the year.
Bristol Street starts at Jamboree Road in Newport Beach and goes into Santa Ana.
Bristol is used daily by a ton of people commuting in Orange County and definitely has a few intersections that are notoriously dangerous.
The intersection at Campus Drive in Newport Beach is really bad, partially because this is near the 73 freeway where drivers exit at high speeds making for a dangerous drive.
Bristol and Warner Avenue is also really bad, as is Bristol Street and West MacArthur Boulevard which is right near South Coast Plaza and always has tons of pedestrians around.
Anytime you have kids and pedestrians around a busy intersection it can spell trouble.
Alternative Routes: Because Bristol Street is centrally located there are many other options that drivers have.
Bear Street, Fairview, and Harbor Boulevard are some major roadways that are easily accessible if you want to avoid Bristol.
Contact Daniel Kim Law Office If You’ve Been Injured
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Southern California then you definitely want to be pro-active and protect your legal rights.
If you were not at fault in a car crash and you suffered injuries (major or minor) then you want to be careful about how you proceed.
Insurance companies are not always your best friends when you need them to pay your medical bills or to reimburse you for damages to your car, lost wages, etc.
Each car accident is different and the process afterwards can become overwhelming and a nightmare, some personal injury settlements can take over 18 months.
Don’t just sit and wait for the insurance companies to help you out, you need to deal with the situation yourself and consult with an injury lawyer here in OC.
Read more about how to pick an injury lawyer here in OC.