MoneyGeek Analysis:

The Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles Are in Downtown and South Central LA

ByDoug Milnes, CFA
Edited byErika Hearthway

Updated: February 18, 2023

ByDoug Milnes, CFA
Edited byErika Hearthway

Updated: February 18, 2023

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Los Angeles is famous for its traffic and classic grid layout. With 22,000 miles of road, the city has thousands of intersections. Many of these are highly trafficked and — in some cases — dangerous. According to the Federal Highway Administration, one-quarter of all fatal accidents and half of all crashes resulting in injury happen in intersections.

MoneyGeek analyzed collision data from the Los Angeles Police Department to find the most dangerous intersections in LA. Our study looked at 13,851 intersection traffic collisions in Los Angeles that resulted in injury or death between 2020 and 2022. Here's what we found.

Key Findings:
  • LA has 86 intersections that were the site of 10 or more crashes that caused injury or death. These intersections are scattered throughout the city, but the five most dangerous are concentrated in South Central LA.

  • The intersection of S. Vermont Avenue and W. Florence Avenue is the most dangerous in LA; 19 accidents involving injury or death occurred there.

  • Downtown LA has the most intersection crashes of any neighborhood in the city, with 937 deadly or injurious crashes.

The 86 Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles
Map showing the 86 most dangerous intersections in LA according to MoneyGeek’s analysis

4 of Los Angeles’ 5 Most Dangerous Intersections Are in South Central LA

MoneyGeek’s analysis found that 86 intersections in LA were the site of 10 or more crashes that resulted in injury or death, making them the most dangerous intersections in the city. These 86 most dangerous intersections account for 7% of all injury-producing intersection crashes that occurred in LA between 2020 and 2022.

The five most dangerous intersections in the city have all been the site of either 19 or 18 crashes, led by the intersection of S. Vermont Avenue and W. Florence Avenue, where 19 injury-producing collisions occurred. Four of the five most dangerous intersections are located in South Central Los Angeles neighborhoods.

5 Most Dangerous Intersections in Los Angeles

  • 5. E. Manchester Avenue and Avalon Boulevard
    E. Manchester Avenue and Avalon Boulevard

    • FlorenceNeighborhood
    • 18Dangerous Collision Count

  • 4. W. Manchester Avenue and S. Vermont Avenue
    W. Manchester Avenue and S. Vermont Avenue

    • Vermont KnollsNeighborhood
    • 18Dangerous Collision Count

  • 3. Victory Boulevard and Lindley Avenue
    Victory Boulevard and Lindley Avenue

    • ResedaNeighborhood
    • 18Dangerous Collision Count

  • 2. W. Manchester Avenue and S. Normandie Avenue
    W. Manchester Avenue and S. Normandie Avenue

    • Manchester SquareNeighborhood
    • 18Dangerous Collision Count

  • 1. S. Vermont Avenue and W. Florence Avenue
    S. Vermont Avenue and W. Florence Avenue

    • Vermont-SlausonNeighborhood
    • 19Dangerous Collision Count

LA's Most Dangerous Neighborhoods for Intersection Crashes

If your neighborhood isn’t home to one of the most dangerous intersections, it’s safer for driving and walking, right? Maybe, maybe not.

From 2020 to 2022, 6,466 LA intersections were the site of at least one crash injury or fatality. Just because your neighborhood doesn’t have one of the most dangerous intersections doesn’t mean you can let your guard down when you’re running to the shop around the corner.

MoneyGeek found that Downtown LA had the most intersection crashes in the city, with 937 producing an injury or fatality; however, this neighborhood wasn’t home to any of the top 5 or even the top 20 most dangerous intersections in the city. Neighborhoods with a larger volume of intersection crashes are a sign of potential danger for both pedestrians and drivers, but it’s essential to also factor in a neighborhood’s size and relative busyness, such as in the case of Downtown LA.

MoneyGeek found the 15 neighborhoods with the most intersection crashes in Los Angeles. For each of them, we determined the most dangerous intersection in the neighborhood, the total number of crashes and the number of crashes per square mile.

15 Neighborhoods With the Most Intersection Crashes in LA
Neighborhood
Most Dangerous Intersection
Dangerous Collision Count
Neighborhood Size (Sq. Miles)
Crashes/Sq. Mile

1.

Downtown

Figueroa Street and W. 5th Street

937

5.8

160.5

2.

Van Nuys

Van Nuys Boulevard and Oxnard Street

428

9.0

47.6

3.

Westlake

N. Alvarado Street and W. Temple Street

405

2.7

149.0

4.

Historic South-Central

S. Broadway and W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

381

2.6

149.2

5.

Florence

W. Manchester Avenue and Avalon Boulevard

356

2.8

127.2

6.

Hollywood

N. Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard

355

3.5

101.2

7.

Koreatown

Irolo Street and W. 8th Street

328

2.7

121.5

8.

Boyle Heights

E. Cesar E Chavez Avenue and N. Soto Street

305

6.5

46.8

Protecting Yourself When Danger Is Just Around the Corner

There’s no avoiding the dangers of intersections in any city, let alone LA. While the Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to work on making streets safer across the city, pedestrians and drivers also need to take steps to be safe and keep others safe. Here are some ways to protect yourself and those around you, both as pedestrians and drivers.

Pedestrians: Channel Your Caregiver’s Safety Advice

Navigating a city as a pedestrian may feel second nature to you. However, as with all things mastered, it can be easy to get overly comfortable and make mistakes. These key takeaways are among those that caregivers teach kids about road and traffic safety, and they can be helpful for any pedestrian to keep in mind:

1
Stay focused.

Especially when walking in heavily trafficked areas, it's crucial that you're aware of the people and cars near you.

2
Walk on the sidewalk.

This may seem like an obvious one, but following it can go a long way in keeping you safe.

3
Use crosswalks.

By crossing the street at these designated areas, any oncoming drivers will be more prepared to stop and let you by.

4
Never assume drivers see you.

Often, drivers are distracted. The adage "look both ways before crossing the road" is widely known for a reason. As a pedestrian, it’s always better to err on the side of caution, especially in highly trafficked areas.

5
Avoid walking while impaired.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 47% of crashes that resulted in a pedestrian fatality, the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol.

Drivers: Manage Your Liability and Drive Safely

Getting behind the wheel of over 2,000 pounds of machine comes with immense responsibility. Before you start your engine in the Golden State, it's important to know California's minimum car insurance requirements, penalties and other auto insurance laws to make sure you’re adequately covered in the event of an accident. When insurance can be expensive, there are a variety of cheap car insurance policies in LA. If you want to go beyond the minimum-needed protection, a full coverage auto insurance policy can ensure you're covered for your liability to others and yourself.

You likely passed through an intersection the last time you drove a car, but here's a refresher on how to stay safe and ensure the safety of others:

1
Stay aware.

It's crucial that you stay aware of all oncoming cars, cars entering from the cross street and pedestrians while driving.

2
Go slow.

That way, you'll have more time to avoid hazards. Also, it's crucial to keep in mind that speeds you might not think of as "fast" can severely injure or kill a pedestrian. MoneyGeek's pedestrian crash analysis found that 1 in 3 pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling 25 mph were severely injured, and 1 in 10 pedestrians hit at 35 mph were killed.

3
Avoid passing at an intersection.

This is especially important if you’re trying to pass a stopped car. Because there's a car in front of you, your visibility is lower; stopped cars may also be a sign that pedestrians are crossing.

4
Never drive distracted or impaired.

California has laws on being distracted while driving. Text messaging and cell phone use while behind the wheel get the most attention, but eating a burrito, doing your makeup or fiddling with the radio or AC are all distractions that are punishable by law. And, of course, it's illegal — and incredibly dangerous — to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Methodology

To find the intersections with the most injury or death-producing collisions in Los Angeles, MoneyGeek analyzed traffic collision data from Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Los Angeles Open Data site from 2020 to 2022.

MoneyGeek identified intersection-related injury collisions using the reported Modus Operandi (MO) codes from the LAPD’s data set and utilized the University of Southern California’s Los Angeles Neighborhood Map to identify where those crashes occurred. Maps were generated using Mapbox and OpenStreetMap.

If you have any questions about MoneyGeek’s findings or methodology, please contact Doug Milnes via email at dougmilnes@moneygeek.com.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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