Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward after the incident just after 12.30pm on Saturday at the junction of Bond Street and Wentworth Terrace.
They said a black Hyundai i10, which was heading towards Leeds, veered towards the opposite side of the road and was in a head-on collision with a black VW Golf, causing the VW to collide with another VW Golf.
The driver of the Hyundai, a 71-year-old woman, died following the crash.
The male driver of the VW Golf was treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Aside from witnesses to the collision, officers would particularly like to speak to anyone who saw the black Hyundai i10, registration YL64 HUU, driving in Wakefield in the Flanshaw and Batley Road areas prior to the incident taking place.
"Anyone who saw this car, has dashcam footage of it, or any other information is asked to contact the Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support Team (East) on 101 referencing police log 773 of January 13."