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Common causes of Southern California auto fatalities

In 2018, the Ocean County Register reported that the Central Valley’s Highway 99 is one of the most hazardous roads in the nation. The newspaper also reviewed the common causes of fatal accidents in Southern California.

Understanding the factors that contribute to catastrophic car accidents can help keep yourself and others on the road safe.


Excessive speed contributes to nearly 18% of fatal auto accidents according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Pay close attention to speed limits and reduce speed in poor weather conditions. The maximum speed is 65 miles per hour on most California highways, although some roads have a posted limit of 70 mph.

Driver inexperience

Motorists ages 16 to 20 have the highest rate of fatal auto accidents in California. The second highest rate occurs among drivers ages 21 to 34. In addition, car crashes are the leading cause of fatalities among U.S. teens. California implemented a graduated driver’s license law in 1997. New drivers must adhere to curfews and passenger limits until they reach age 18 and have had a full license for 12 months.

Accident locations

The data reported by the Orange County Register also ranked the most dangerous intersections in each county depending on the number of collisions from 2015 to 2017. In Orange County, catastrophic accidents are most common in these locations:

  • Balboa Boulevard, Coast Highway and Superior Highway, Huntington Beach (38)
  • Brookhurst Street and La Palma Avenue, Anaheim (30)
  • Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard, Fullerton (29)
  • Harbor Boulevard and Orange Avenue, Fullerton (28)
  • First Street and Elk Lane, Santa Ana (25)
  • Alicia Parkway and Jeronimo Road, Mission Viejo (26)
  • Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue, Anaheim (24)
  • Euclid Avenue and Orangethorpe Avenue, Fullerton (23)
  • Edinger Avenue and Beach Boulevard, Huntington Beach (22)

Use caution when traveling in these areas and other locations with several lanes of traffic, complex turns and other conditions that cause collisions. When you experience a serious injury in an accident another driver causes, you may be eligible for legal compensation.

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