San Diego’s Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections

Most Dangerous Roads in San Diego 

Most dangerous intersections in San Diego
Known as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego boasts beautiful beaches and world famous attractions like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. Unfortunately, it is also one of California’s most congested cities. In 2022, the average San Diegan lost 54 hours to traffic. 

Deadly traffic accidents are also on the rise. 50 deaths reported in the San Diego region in 2023 alone. Many of these tragic deaths involve a bicyclist or pedestrian. Not surprisingly, many of these accidents occur on roads with heavy traffic and highways where motorists speed. 

If you drive, bike, or walk in the city, you should know the most dangerous intersections, roads, and highways and which ones to avoid.


Dangerous San Diego Intersections

Most dangerous intersections like University Ave
Circulate San Diego, a local nonprofit that promotes pedestrian safety, Safe Routes to School, and other initiatives, named these 15 intersections the “Fatal 15” based on the large number of traffic accidents. 

  1. 45th Street and Market Street
  2. Camino Ruiz and Reagan Road
  3. Cesar Chavez Parkway and National Avenue
  4. Linda Vista Road and Glidden Street 
  5. Market Street and 30th Street
  6. Mission Boulevard and Felspar Street
  7. Olney Street and Grand Avenue
  8. Pearl Street and Fay Avenue
  9. Scranton Road and Morehouse Drive
  10. Tierrasanta Boulevard and La Cuenta Drive
  11. University Avenue and 32nd Street E 
  12. W Bernardo Drive and Poblado Road
  13. W Pt Loma Bl and Rue Dorleans 
  14. Mira Mesa Blvd and Marbury Avenue/Westmore Road
  15. 14th Street and Broadway 

The city of San Diego has been working to improve the safety of these intersections by implementing various measures, such as installing new signs, signals, and markings, upgrading pedestrian ramps and refuges, adding bike lanes and sidewalks, and reducing speed limits. Yet there is still more work to be done to achieve the goal of Vision Zero, which is to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025.


More Deadly Roads and Highways in San Diego County 

Most dangerous intersections in San Diego
According to a Moneygeek report, three sections of San Diego freeways topped the list of the most lethal roads in California. The report examined 4,451 roads in the state and recorded 10,370 deadly car crashes from 2017 to 2019.

Interstate 15 from Miramar Way to Scripps Poway Parkway 

The stretch of I-15 from Miramar Way to Scripps Poway Parkway was the deadliest road in San Diego County and ranked 12th in the state for fatalities, according to Moneygeek. Many of the reported accidents on this highway are due to excessive speeding. 

As one of the busiest interstate highways, I-15 connects major cities and regions across the western United States, from the Mexican border up to Canada. Many people traveling to and from Mexico pass through San Diego on the I-15, making it one of the most congested highways in the state.

Interstate 5 

There are two stretches of the I-5 freeway in San Diego that see the most motor vehicle accidents: 

  • San Ysidro Blvd to Marina Pkwy in Chula Vista
  • Harbor Drive to Hawthorn Street/Airport exit 

Like the I-15, many car accidents on the I-5 are caused by speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers. The highways are wide-open and straight, meaning drivers frequently rev up their engines to over 100 miles per hour. In Downtown San Diego, many accidents involve pedestrians.

Highway 67

State Route 67 (SR-67), a highway that runs north/south through the cities of El Cajon, Santee, and Poway in San Diego County, is another dangerous road.

A major commuter route, the highway is notorious for traffic accidents and fatalities, lending it the nickname “Slaughterhouse Alley.” It is narrow and full of blind turns and steep inclines, most notably the 12-mile stretch from Lakeside north to Ramona. 


Factors That Contribute to Car Accidents

Most dangerous roads El Cajon boulevard dangerous intersection
Are you asking yourself “Why are there so many accidents on these roads?” Well, the answer is that it depends on several factors. Driver negligence is the number one cause of car accidents. Additionally, unsafe road conditions can also lead to an increase in auto accidents.

Poor road maintenance and unsafe roads 

According to a study by the U.S. News & World Report, half of all roads in California are in poor or mediocre condition. Potholes, cracks, debris, and uneven surfaces can lead to an increase of losing control or colliding with other road users. Recent flooding in San Diego has also led to more dangerous driving conditions.


Motorists started driving faster during the COVID-19 pandemic and haven’t slowed down since. With more cars on the road now, speeding-related car accidents have been on the rise. The higher the speed, the greater the impact of the accident, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or death. 

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), officers have been citing drivers for going 100 miles per hour on California highways and roads. 

Reckless Driving

Speeding and reckless driving often go hand in hand. Reckless driving behaviors can include running red lights, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring road signs, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Alcohol Impairment

When a driver gets behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the risk of an accident increases exponentially. Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death not just in San Diego County, but the entire U.S. In recent years, the CHP has deployed officers and other personnel on certain holidays that see a spike in drunk driving accidents, like New Year’s Eve. 


Speak to a San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were a victim of a car accident at one of these dangerous roads or intersections, you may be able to recover compensation if a negligent driver or government entity caused the accident. Compensation for car accident injuries can include medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. 

An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer can represent you if the insurance company is playing hardball or denying liability. At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, we have garnered recognition as one of the top personal injury law firms in Southern California. Call our law firm today for a free consultation at (619) 639-9063.