Dangerous California Intersections

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Whether you live in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, or Irvine, you experience your fair share of traffic. While traffic accidents can obviously happen anywhere, intersections present some of the riskiest driving situations, and some are more dangerous than others. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury by a motorist’s negligence in an intersection, reach out to an experienced California traffic accident attorney for the help you need.

The Five Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles

One: Lindley Avenue & Victory Boulevard

Lindley Avenue and Victory Boulevard are in LA’s Encino neighborhood and are not far from Reseda Park and Recreation Center. In 2020 alone, this intersection saw 15 traffic accidents, many of which led to severe injuries. The types of accidents involved included:

  • T-bone accidents
  • head-on accidents
  • sideswipe accidents

Each of these accidents involved motor vehicles only.

Two: Florence Avenue & Flower Street

Florence Avenue is a major east-west street in South Los Angeles, and when it crosses Flower, it becomes a hotspot for accidents. In 2020 alone, there were 10 traffic accidents, including bike, pedestrian, and car accidents. The accidents included head-on and T-bone crashes, and they led to serious injuries.

Three: Florence Avenue & Vermont Avenue

Florence Avenue makes it into the lineup of the most dangerous intersections in LA a second time when it intersects with Vermont Avenue. In 2020, there were 10 traffic accidents here that involved motor vehicles only and that left several people seriously injured. The kinds of crashes involved include all the following:

  • sideswipe accidents
  • rear-end accidents
  • T-bone accidents

Four: Figueroa Street & Manchester Avenue

Figueroa Street and Manchester Avenue is a primary north-south street in Los Angeles that spans from Eagle Rock to the Wilmington neighborhood, and when it intersects with Manchester Avenue, accidents start happening. In 2020 alone, this intersection saw 11 accidents that included rollover, head-on, rear-end, sideswipe, and T-bone accidents. These accidents left many people painfully injured, and one of the crashes involved a bike.

Five: Manchester Avenue & Main Street

Main Street is a major north-south thoroughfare in LA, and when it intersects with Manchester Avenue, it ranks as one of the most dangerous intersections in the city. In 2020 alone, there were 10 injury-causing traffic accidents – involving motor vehicles only – at this site. The kinds of accidents involved ran the gamut, including:

  • sideswipe accidents
  • rear-end accidents
  • head-on accidents
  • T-bone accidents

To learn more about some of the most dangerous intersections in the Los Angeles area, check out the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS).

California Overall

The California Highway Patrol reports on overall traffic accidents throughout California, and the details for a recent year include:

  • There were 3,438 fatal traffic accidents that left 3,737 people dead.
  • There were 187,211 injury-causing traffic accidents that left 269,031 people harmed.

Types of Traffic Accidents

As the intersection reports indicate, traffic accidents come in a range of dangerous forms.

Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents are some of the most common traffic accidents, and they’re also far more dangerous than many people realize. The impact generated when a vehicle is hit from behind throws occupants forward and is closely associated with injuries such as the following:

  • head injuries
  • neck injuries, including whiplash
  • injuries to the lower extremities, including broken bones

Rear-end accidents are very common at intersections and are often caused by motorists who are distracted or are driving too fast to come to a safe stop in time – both of which are dangerous forms of driver negligence.

T-Bone Accidents

T-bone accidents generally happen in intersections, and they are exceptionally dangerous. The sides of our vehicles don’t have the kind of buffers that the trunk offers in the back, and the hood offers in the front, which leaves occupants more vulnerable to serious injury. While side airbags are not required, most manufacturers include them to help bolster side-vehicle safety. T-bone accidents are often the result of the following forms of negligence:

  • motorists who fail to stop for red lights or push forward before they actually have green lights
  • motorists who are distracted and fail to pay adequate attention to what forward traffic is doing
  • motorists who are driving too fast to react safely to whatever is going on in the intersection they’re coming up on

Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents are uniquely dangerous because they tend to push the vehicle that has been sideswiped into a different lane of traffic – increasing the risk that multiple vehicles will be involved. Sideswipe accidents generally happen when motorists change lanes and fail to pay adequate attention to what’s going on around them. Sideswipes, however, can also be caused by the following:

  • distracted motorists who fail to stay in their lanes
  • impaired motorists who have trouble staying in their lanes
  • speeding motorists who have difficulty controlling their vehicles
  • aggressive drivers who throw caution to the wind

Head-On Accidents

Head-on accidents are dangerous and terrifying in equal measure, and they’re very closely associated with very serious injuries that, all too often, prove fatal. Head-on accidents are generally caused when a motorist leaves their lane of traffic for one of the following reasons:

  • driving drunk
  • being sideswiped into a lane of oncoming traffic
  • driving too fast to make well-considered decisions and ending up traveling in the wrong direction

Head-on accidents are closely associated with life-altering injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, complicated breaks, serious cuts and burns, and more.


Rolling over in your vehicle is about as terrifying as it gets, and these accidents are often caused when a motorist is left with nothing but bad choices in the face of another driver’s dangerous maneuvering. Rollovers can also be caused when a vehicle is tripped – by hitting a curb while driving too fast, for example. High-impact accidents can also lead to rollovers. When a vehicle flips, it puts everyone on the roadway at increased risk. The primary factor when it comes to rollovers is excess speed.

Bike and Pedestrian Accidents

When it comes to intersection accidents, bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable.

Bike Accidents

When you’re on a bike, you have the ability to join the traffic flow, but you have none of the protections that the occupants of the vehicles all around you have. Consider the following bike accident statistics forwarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

  • About 2 percent of all traffic deaths are bicyclists.
  • Since 1975, the number of bicycle fatalities for those over the age of 20 has nearly quadrupled.
  • Bike accidents that lead to head injuries are the most likely to be fatal.
  • In 2020 alone, 932 people lost their lives in bike accidents involving motor vehicles, and this number represents an increase of 9 percent over 2019.
  • Since 2010, bicycle fatalities have increased by 50 percent.
  • In 2020, a full 32 percent of bike fatalities happened in intersections.

The best safety advice for bicyclists is to proceed as if the drivers all around you don’t see you because far too many of them simply are not looking for bikes in their midst or are too distracted to notice.

Pedestrian Accidents

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that the problem of pedestrian accidents is reaching crisis proportions in the state. Consider the following dire statistics:

  • California’s pedestrian accident fatality rate is almost 25 percent higher than it is for the rest of the country.
  • California’s pedestrian fatality rate is higher than any other state in the nation.
  • Pedestrian fatality rates in California increased by 26 percent from 2014 to 2018, with almost 900 deaths and more than 14,000 injuries in 2018.
  • In the 10 years from 2009 to 2018, nearly 7,500 people lost their lives in pedestrian accidents.

Driver Negligence

Accidents in and around LA – whether they happen in intersections or somewhere else – are very often the result of driver negligence, which can take a wide range of life-threatening forms.


Drunk drivers know far better than to get behind the wheel, but the very real problem of drunk driving is not going away. As a motorist’s blood alcohol content increases, so too do the impairments they experience, including:

  • cognitive impairments that increase the risk they will make unsafe driving decisions
  • visual impairments that make it more difficult to remain in their lane
  • physical impairments that make it more difficult to control their vehicle effectively

Impaired drivers also face a decrease in impulse control, which adds to the overall danger immensely.


When motorists are drowsy, they tend to have more difficulty concentrating, which is obviously a primary element of safe driving. In fact, exhaustion is closely associated with many of the same categories of impairment that drunk drivers experience. Because it’s difficult to quantify exhaustion in accident statistics, the risk caused by drowsy driving is thought to be seriously underestimated.

Excess Speed

Speeding plays a starring role in traffic accident statistics of every kind. When a motorist speeds, they ensure that they have less time to register risk factors on the road ahead and, as a result, less distance on the road to react safely to those risk factors. Excess speed not only increases the probability that an accident will occur but also increases the probability that the accident will be deadly.

When it comes to speeding, it’s not all about adhering to the speed limit that’s on the sign. Speed limits are set for ideal conditions, and motorists are responsible for factoring in all risk factors and adjusting their speed accordingly. Common risk factors include:

  • bad weather
  • low visibility
  • a poorly maintained road
  • debris on the road
  • an accident on the road
  • road construction
  • poor signage
  • heavy traffic
  • anything on the road that shouldn’t be there, including an animal such as a deer


Drivers owe their complete and utter attention to the road ahead, but too many have become complacent on this score and engage in distractions behind the wheel. The most dangerous distraction, and arguably one of the most popular is texting. That 5 seconds that motorists spend tapping out texts translates to about the length of a football field when traveling at highway speeds, and that is a lot of dangerous distraction.

Distractions come in three primary forms, and texting manages to combine all three of them, including:

  • distractions that engage hands
  • distractions that engage thoughts
  • distractions that engage vision


Aggressive drivers don’t let hindrances like traffic rules slow them down, and in the process, they make roadways far more dangerous for all of us. Aggressive drivers are the ones who blow through the light after it has already turned red and jump out ahead of green lights – making intersections that much deadlier. While speed is a mainstay of aggressive drivers, they tend to engage in more than one dangerous practice at a time, and favorites include:

  • tailgating
  • targeting specific motorists with taunts, obscene gestures, and even physical taps
  • passing illegally
  • completely ignoring traffic signs, lights, and signals refusing to yield the right-of-way
  • zigzagging in and out of lanes

Aggressive drivers are so dangerous that allowing them as much space on the road as you possibly can and alerting the authorities to their presence when it is safe to do so is in everyone’s best interest.

An Experienced California Traffic Accident Attorney Is Standing By to Help

If you’ve suffered an injury by another driver’s negligence, the trusted traffic accident attorneys at Blair & Ramirez LLP – proudly serving LA, Bakersfield, and Irvine – have the skill, experience, and legal insight you need. Our free case evaluator can help you better understand your claim, and we encourage you to reach out and contact or call us at 213-568-4000 for more information today.