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The Most Dangerous Place to Drive in the OC

Time once called Orange County the second most dangerous place in the country. We typically experience about 20,000 highway deaths or serious injuries. But where are the most dangerous places?

As far as freeways go, the big three are:

  • Santiago Canyon Road (County Route S18), especially where it intersects with Jamboree Road
  • The Ortega Highway (State Rte 74), famous for scenery but feared for its turns and switchbacks. This road is especially perilous for cyclists.
  • Laguna Canyon Road, from I-485 to Laguna Beach

Authorities warn, however, that more people die on side streets than on freeways - perhaps because clogged freeways more frequently cause injuries than deaths,

Especially dangerous intersections occur on three major roads:

  • Beach Blvd at Chapman Ave and at Lampson Ave., both in Stanton
  • Alicia Pkwy at Jeronimo Road and Muirlands Blvd, both in Mission Viejo
  • Bristol St at Macfadden in Santa Ana and at Campus Drive in Newport Beach

There is a complete listing by the Orange County Register of dangerous intersections here.


Causes of accidents (2012)

  • 20,225 killed or injured
  • 2,046 involving alcohol
  • 977 involved motorcycles
  • 911 involved pedestrians
  • 1,077 involved bicycles

Source: Orange County Register


"So where is the most dangerous place to drive in Orange County?"

The best answer to that question is perhaps this:

The most dangerous place is where you are right now because wherever you are, you cannot be sure what is going to happen next.

Fasten your seatbelts. Watch for traffic, including pedestrians. Pay attention - no texting. And be clear-eyed and sober.

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