The state of California is the most populous state in the United States, with a 2020 population of about 39.5 million people. Regular fatal auto accidents are an unfortunate reality in a state with so many people: 2019 saw 3,316 fatal accidents in California, accounting for 3,606 fatalities and involving 844 drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The five highways which saw the most fatal accidents in California in 2019 were:
1. Interstate 5
Interstate 5 runs 1,381.29 miles from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. The I-5 in California runs 796.53 miles from the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the Mexican border to the Oregon border, just past the unincorporated community of Hilt. The I-5 runs through or past numerous cities in California, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Tracy, Stockton, Sacramento and Redding.
The I-5 in California saw 119 fatal accidents in 2019, accounting for 135 fatalities. 28 drunk drivers were involved in the fatal crashes.
2. US Route 101
US Route 101 runs 1,540 miles from Los Angeles, CA to Tumwater, Washington. US 101 in California runs 808.111 miles from Los Angeles to the Oregon border, just north of Smith River. US 101 runs through or just past the California cities of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Salinas, San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Eureka.
US 101 in California saw 95 fatal accidents in 2019, causing 108 fatalities and involving 27 drunk drivers.
3. State Route 99
SR 99 runs 424.85 miles from the I-5 near Wheeler Ridge to SR 36 near Red Bluff. SR 99 runs through or past the California cities of Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno, Merced, Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento and Chico.
SR 99 saw 72 fatal accidents in 2019, involving 17 drunk drivers and accounting for 89 fatalities.
Highway 99 has been referred to as the deadliest roadway in America.
4. Interstate 15
Interstate 15 runs 1,433.52 miles from San Diego County to the Canadian border in Montana. It runs 287.26 miles in California, from San Diego County to the Nevada border near Primm, NV. The I-15 in California runs through or past San Diego, Temecula, the San Bernardino Valley, Victorville and Barstow.
The I-15 in California saw 69 fatal accidents in 2019, involving 20 drunk drivers and accounting for 76 fatalities.
5. Interstate 10
Interstate 10 runs 2,460.34 miles from Santa Monica, CA to Jacksonville, FL. The I-10 in California runs 242.54 miles from Santa Monica to the Nevada border just past Blythe, going through or past Los Angeles, the San Bernardino Valley and the Coachella Valley along the way.
The I-10 in California saw 54 fatal accidents in 2019, involving 13 drunk drivers and accounting for 57 fatalities.