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Exploring America’s Deadliest Roads

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Filed under Automotive, Editorial

The deadliest road in the U.S. is officially I-45 (Dallas to Galveston), with a few alarming statistics to its name – 0-913 deaths per mile of highway, 250 fatalities between 2016 and 2019, and accidents comprising in-vehicle, pedestrian, and overturned vehicle events. Interestingly, the main causes of accidents remain much the same as they are in the rest of the U.S. and in many other parts of the world. They include texting and driving, driving aggressively, and failing to adapt to road conditions. If you are planning a road trip soon, then you may wish to find alternative routes to avoid the following high-risk roads.

The I-45 and Other Dangerous Texan Roads

Texas ranks as the number one state in terms of road fatalities, with some of the deadliest Texas roads including I-10 (which runs through three of Texas’ most congested cities – Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio) and I-20 (which connects up to almost every other highway in the state and which comprises a labyrinth of ramps and exits that can be difficult to identify). None of these roads beat the I-45, however, which has a particularly bad reputation for DUIs. The situation is so worrisome that law enforcement refers to this road as ‘Drunk Alley’. The I-45 goes through the busy city of Houston and ends in a complex network of highways and roads in Dallas. Lighting on this road is considered poor as well, so try and find an alternative route if you need to travel at night time.

Highway 1 in Florida

This highway is the longest north-south road of its kind and it runs through 545 miles and 13 counties, claiming over 1,000 lives every 10 years. The peak time for accidents is the summer, when many take road trips and generally have time for longer drives. Top risks in this zone include the high population density of Florida (the latter is the third most populated state), the fact that there are only two routes to the southern part of the state, and the lack of dividers (which would significantly reduce the number of crossover accidents). Recently, the Vision Zero Network suggested changes that should be made to this highway. These include having painted and post-protected bicycle lanes, the adoption of a new design that reduces speed, lowering legal speed limits, and the publication of new policies that encourage the use of public rather than private transport.

Highway 160 in Colorado

This road passes through the San Juan Mountains, where drivers encounter step roads with sharp twists and turns. This area is also known for its poor weather – where rain and snow sometimes force the Colorado Department of Transportation to close specific stretches which are known to be accident traps.This area is ideal to visit in warmer months, when the weather is perfect and all sharp bends can be perfectly seen from a safe distance. If you will be traveling in the winter, check out weather predictions beforehand and make sure to prepare your vehicle with the right tires, chains, or alternative traction devices. Be aware of best practices when driving near trucks and other vehicles in winter conditions.The I-45 in Texas, Highway 1 in Florida, and  Highway 160 are three of the most dangerous roads in the U.S. Weather, DUIs, and complex road networks are three risk factors drivers should be aware of, taking precautions and safety measures as recommended. In case you were curious, the nation’s safest road, according to Geotab, is Rhode Island’s section of the I-95, which has had 40 traffic fatalities in a decade.
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