Recent Study: San Diego Freeways Among the Deadliest

The study by analyzed 4,451 California roads and tracked 10,370 fatal car accidents from 2017-2019. It broke everything down into five-mile chunks to rank the deadliest roads. Unfortunately, every day our local news organizations are reporting on serious and fatal accidents on our freeways. More frightening, it seems recently we are seeing more and more “wrong way” driver collisions, which are almost always fatal and truly catastrophic.

In San Diego, the study found the five-mile stretch of Interstate 15 from Miramar Way to Scripps Poway Parkway as the deadliest in San Diego County and 12th deadliest in the state.

The stretch of Interstate 5 from San Ysidro Boulevard to Marina Parkway in Chula Vista ranks 17th.

Interstate 5 from Harbor Drive in National City to the Hawthorn Street/Airport exit ranked 18th.

“A lot of times, it’s speed and reckless drivers,” says Officer Salvador Castro with the California Highway Patrol. He says the parts of the freeways highlighted in Chula Vista and Miramar are wide open and straight, which lend themselves to deadly speeds. “(That) gives the people the opportunity, the chance. And they want to get their car up over 100 miles per hour,” Officer Castro says.

The study found speed and alcohol were the two most significant factors in deadly crashes across the state. Speed played a role in 28% of the deaths. Alcohol was a factor in 27% of them.

“That really highlights how our individual behaviors and choices can make a difference in our day-to-day driving,” says Doug Milnes, the Head of Data Analytics at and the study’s lead author.

What can you do to keep you and your loved ones safe? First, the obvious thing is do not drive excessively fast, recklessly, and absolutely never drink and drive or drive intoxicated. Next, you must be a defensive driver. That means not only driving safely, and controlling your own vehicle but keep a lookout for other drivers. At intersections, make sure other vehicles are stopping at traffic signals if you have the green light – do not assume that because you have the right of way others are following the law and driving safely.

Additionally, when driving at late hours, pay special attention to what is going on around you. Make sure you are looking out for other vehicles. On the freeways and highways, scan far ahead and lookout for vehicles that may be coming the wrong way. Do not drive in the “fast lane” late at night, because to a wrong way driver your “fast lane” is their “slow lane.” Stay in the middle lanes, keep a safe speed and lookout.

Most vehicle collisions are not fatal, even though people can be seriously injured. Often we see that the fatal injuries and catastrophic injuries involve excessive speeds, intoxicated driving, and reckless driving. Please be safe out there, arrive alive, and minimize the risks associated with using our roads and highways.

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