Car Crashes on the Pacific Coast Highway – Big Types of Accidents on State Route 1

January 19, 2024

Car Crashes on the Pacific Coast Highway – Big Types of Accidents on State Route 1

Stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway provides one of the most scenic views while traveling.

Also known as State Route 1 or the PCH, the Pacific Coast Highway runs from Dana Point all the way north of San Francisco to Mendocino County. 

The PCH provides tourists and locals with breathtaking views of the pacific ocean. It’s not uncommon to see people driving along the coast in a convertible, the sun beaming on their face as they blast “California Love” by 2pac and Dr. Dre. 

While the ocean may come off as serene, there’s still unfortunately a risk for car accidents along the Pacific Coast Highway. In fact, a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway has seen an increase in fatal car wrecks.

In October 2023, four Pepperdine University students were killed after another driver speeding at 104 miles per hour collided with their vehicle.  A January 2024 accident in front of Duke’s restaurant in Malibu left three injured, including one who needed to be airlifted.

This raises the question: how dangerous can it be driving on the Pacific Coast Highway? 

For this blog, we broke down statistics collected by the University of California, Berkeley. These are Pacific Coast Highway accident numbers for 2022 (the most recent year of studies).

Data suggests there were a total of 367 crashes on the Pacific Coast Highway. Of those accidents, 81.2 percent saw injuries with a complaint of pain or some other visible injury.

Additionally, there were a total of 14 fatalities on the Pacific Coast Highway. This accounts for around 6 percent of all fatalities on state routes in Los Angeles County. 

Of all accident types, none were more prevalent than T-bone collisions (listed in the research as broadside collisions). 

A T-bone collision occurs when one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. The name stems from the shape of a letter T formed after the crash. 

T-bone collisions accounted for 33.5 percent of all crashes on the Pacific Coast Highway. Other types of accidents with a high share include:

Rear-end (24.8 percent)

Sideswipe (13.08 percent)

Unlike many other popular freeways or highways in Los Angeles County, the majority of these accidents took place on Saturday, as opposed to during pre and post work hours on weekdays.

The two highest accident time periods ran from 3PM – 6PM and 12 PM – 3 PM on Saturday afternoons. From Saturday to Sunday, there is a 142 percent increase in accidents from 12 PM – 3 PM.

Car accident - there are many fatal crashes on the pacific coast highway

There was a wide range of accident causes on the Pacific Coast Highway, the majority of which were due to “automobile right of way”. This type of crash accounted for 20 percent of all accident types.

Right of way is the specific legal right for a vehicle to continue forward over other vehicles. 

An easy example of right of way involves red lights and green lights. Cars that have a red light must stop for those with a green light, meaning the green light vehicles have the right of way. 

Failure to properly proceed at stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, or other traffic signals is likely to blame for the increase in these types of accidents.

Some of the other top causes of accidents on the Pacific Coast Highway include:

Speeding – 19.44 percent

Improper Turns – 16.11 percent

Driving under the influence – 9.44 percent 

Airbags played a major role in many PCH car accidents, and could have contributed to certain injuries. 

Victims on the Pacific Coast Highway were injured by an airbag not deploying properly in 28.7 percent of all accidents. Common causes of airbags not deploying include defective bags or the sensors not being triggered properly

If you were injured in a car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any injuries suffered. 

While they are accidents, car crashes can have serious effects on your physical and mental health, as well as your wallet.

At C&B Law Group, our team of Los Angeles car crash attorneys are ready, willing, and able to help you with the process of recovering damages following an injury. 

The number of injuries one can endure following a car accident seems endless. Many injuries our team has helped clients recover compensation for include:

  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Mental anguish
  • Internal injuries like hemorrhaging
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Paralysis
  • Death, including wrongful death

Our attorneys help clients across Southern California, including areas such as:

  • Los Angeles
  • Glendale
  • Long Beach
  • Bakersfield
  • Riverside
  • San Bernardino

Don’t let a car accident lead you down a negative path. Get the help and justice you deserve.

Reach out to the LA attorneys at C&B Law Group today about a free consultation.

Get Started Now

Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today by filling out the form below, or call us at (866) 747-7333

    or call us at

    (866) 747-7333

    Hablamos Español

    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Recent Blog Posts

    view all blog posts