Study: The Most Dangerous Intersections in Orange County
July 29, 2020
From 2010-2019, there were nearly 60,000 traffic collisions at Orange County intersections. In these crashes, 328 people were killed and another 55,891 people were injured.
Which intersections pose the most risk for drivers in Orange County?
We worked with 1Point21 Interactive – a data visualization company that has analyzed collision data from all over the country – to find out.
This interactive map shows the top 100 most dangerous intersections throughout Orange County. Users can click and drag to move the area displayed and zoom in and out using the + / – buttons or their mouse wheel (or touch gestures on a mobile device). Hover over each bubble to reveal more information about the intersection it represents.
*Circle size is determined by the crossings ranking. If viewing the map on a mobile device, rotate for the best experience.
We analyzed nine years of traffic collision data (from 2010 – 2018) to identify intersections present the highest risk of crashes and injuries to drivers.
After adjusting for both the volume of collisions and the severity of the resultant injuries, these are the 50 most dangerous intersections in Orange County.
The 50 Most Dangerous Intersections in Orange County, CA
|Rank||Road 1||Road 2||City||Crashes||Min/Mod Inj||Severe Inj||Fatals||CRI|
|1||Alicia Pkwy||Jeronimo Rd||Mission Viejo||66||78||6||0||162|
|2||Euclid St||Orangethorpe Av||Fullerton||72||74||0||0||142.5|
|3||Chapman Av||Harbor Bl||Fullerton||78||66||1||0||138.75|
|5||Commonwealth Av||Harbor Bl||Fullerton||61||60||1||0||121.5|
|6||Harbor Bl||Orangethorpe Av||Fullerton||55||70||2||0||119.25|
|7||Chapman Av||Commonwealth Av||Fullerton||53||57||1||0||116.25|
|10||Acacia Av||Kimberly Av||Fullerton||43||52||1||2||103.5|
|11||Haster St||Lampson Av||Garden Grove||48||34||2||2||100.5|
|12||Gilbert St||Rosecrans Av||Fullerton||38||53||0||1||99.75|
|14||Chapman Av||Raymond Av||Fullerton||47||52||1||0||96|
|15||Euclid St||Malvern Av||Fullerton||39||46||2||1||95.25|
|19||Gisler Av||Harbor Bl||Costa Mesa||42||44||3||0||90.75|
|20||Associated Rd||Bastanchury Rd||Fullerton||40||52||1||0||89.25|
|21||Lemon St||Orangethorpe Av||Fullerton||45||48||0||0||89.25|
|22||Orangethorpe Av||Pomona Av||Fullerton||38||42||0||1||88.5|
|23||Chapman Av||Magnolia St||Garden Grove||45||36||3||0||87|
|25||Newhope St||Trask Av||Garden Grove||48||44||0||0||87|
|26||Placentia Av||Yorba Linda Bl||Fullerton||42||45||1||0||85.5|
|28||Crescent Av||Knott Av||Buena Park||33||36||1||2||84|
|29||Crescent Av||Stanton Av||Buena Park||36||41||1||0||84|
|31||Bushard St||Mcfadden Av||Westminster||40||45||1||1||82.5|
|32||Edinger Av||Orange Av||Santa Ana||30||39||3||0||82.5|
|33||1St St||Elk Ln||Santa Ana||33||49||3||0||81.75|
|37||La Palma Av||Stanton Av||Buena Park||35||40||3||0||79.5|
|38||Magnolia Av||Valencia Dr||Fullerton||34||37||0||1||78.75|
|39||Cypress St||La Habra Bl||La Habra||34||40||0||0||78|
|40||Bolsa Av||Brookhurst St||Westminster||39||43||0||0||78|
|41||El Camino Real||Tustin Ranch Rd||Tustin||36||31||2||0||77.25|
|42||1St St||Main St||Santa Ana||31||46||0||0||77.25|
|44||Commonwealth Av||Euclid St||Fullerton||38||43||1||0||76.5|
|45||Highland Av||Orangethorpe Av||Fullerton||32||32||3||1||75.75|
|46||Brookhurst Rd||Commonwealth Av||Fullerton||35||34||1||1||75|
|49||Euclid St||Valencia Dr||Fullerton||39||38||0||0||74.25|
|50||Bristol St S||Jamboree Rd||Newport Beach||31||30||3||1||73.5|
*This table uses our Crash Risk Index (CRI) to assign a composite score to and rank each intersection according to the number of crashes and the volume and severity of the resultant injuries.
As you can see, our top 50 list is dominated by two cities: Fullerton and Huntington Beach. Nine of the ten most dangerous in Orange county were in one of these two cities.
- Six of the top ten and half of the top twenty intersections were located in Fullerton.
- Three of the top ten were located in Huntington Beach.
Why do these cities dominate the rankings?
One thing for certain is that it’s not just due to collision volume. Both Fullerton and Huntington Beach had far fewer overall intersection related accidents and injuries than Anaheim, yet Anaheim didn’t have a single intersection among the top 50.
|CITY||Int Crashes||Total Inj||Severe Inj||Fatalities||Top 50 Intersections|
For more information on dangerous crossings in specific cities, please see the full list of the top 500 intersections or our further analysis for:
The most dangerous intersection in all of Orange County?
The most dangerous intersection in all of Orange County is found in Mission Viejo. Alicia Parkway and Jeronimo Road – the only Mission Viejo crossing to make our list – saw 66 crashes, 57 minor injuries, 21 moderate injuries, and six severe injuries.
With a Crash Risk Index score of 162, this intersection saw the most injuries and the third-highest number of crashes during the study period.
While our data only includes crashes from 2010 – 2018, recent events have cemented this intersections spot on the top of the list. In early January 2020, Alicia Parkway and Jeronimo Road was the site of a nine vehicle collision that sent six people – two of whom were children – to trauma centers with injuries.
Out of 20,107 intersections where at least one crash occurred, only 20 had multiple fatalities.
Just two, Harvard Avenue and Michelson Drive in Irvine and N. Dale Avenue and W Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, saw more than two deaths – both with three. However, at both intersections, all three fatalities came from one crash – a 2017 DUI crash involving high speed and a run red light at Harvard and Michelson in Irvine and a tanker truck collision in 2016 at Dale and Lincoln.
While both of these fatal crashes were horrible tragedies, they were isolated incidents at intersections with a very low volume of collisions otherwise. Therefore, despite having the most deaths, neither intersection appears in our top 50 (placing 315th and 650th respectively).
Our study is intended to inform drivers of potential risks, so that they may plan their routes or adjust their driving behaviors accordingly. Some intersections on this list may require attention from their respective municipalities, while others may be a result of significantly higher traffic volume.
Regardless of the reason, there are several things drivers can do to remain safe at these intersections as well as anywhere else on the road.
- Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings, especially near one of these intersections.
- Do not use a handheld mobile phone or engage with an in-vehicle display. It is paramount that you maintain your focus on the road and the cars around you.
- Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. If your breaks or tires are worn out, you may not be able to respond to the actions of another driver in time.
- Always wear your seatbelt and have children in the appropriate car seat for their age and size.
- Always adhere to posted speed limits and obey traffic signals and signs, especially stop signs and traffic lights.
Data, Methodology and Fair Use Statement
Our data comes from the California Highway Patrols Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System for the yeas 2009 – 2018 (the most recent year available). We parsed hundreds of thousands of crashes to identify those that occurred at an Orange County Intersection but not on a State Highway.
In order to rank the intersections, we calculated each crossing’s Crash Risk Index (CRI) score – a composite score that weighs the volume of collisions and severity of injuries.
If you would like to publish, reuse, or share the results of our study and or the maps and charts, please provide attribution to our firm by linking to this page or our home page.