10 Most Dangerous Roads in the U.S.

Traveling the worst U.S. highways 

An intricate system of roads, highways and interstates connects the United States. Whether you’re driving for business, pleasure or an out-of-state move, traveling long distances can be challenging. Some roads are less safe than others, so it’s important to know what to expect before you set off, especially if you’ve decided to turn your move into a family road trip.  

We looked at data from AAA, Consumer Affairs and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine the 10 most dangerous roads in the U.S. We considered factors like curviest, deadliest, scariest, steepest and worst road conditions.  

Note: For this post, we didn’t include roads in Hawaii. 

Curvy road and warning sign, showing a very dangerous road in the United States.


Curviest roads in America 

Pikes Peak Highway (Colorado) 

Located just west of Colorado Springs in Cascade, Colorado, the Pikes Peak Highway Gateway is a 19-mile stretch of curvy mountain road. The toll road starts at an elevation of 7,400 feet and ends at 14,115 feet at the summit of the mountain. A round-trip journey takes approximately 2-3 hours, not including any sightseeing time.  

The route is so popular with tourists during the summer that reservations are required from May 26 until September 30. Local authorities recommend that visitors have no heart or respiratory issues and travel in vehicles in good working order with at least half a tank of gas. The drive is not recommended for infants younger than 6 months old. 

Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap (Tennessee and North Carolina) 

Want to navigate 318 curves in only 11 miles? Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, designated as US 129, is a popular destination for motorcyclists and sportscar drivers. The curvy road is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains with no intersections. Drivers are urged to pay attention, stay in their own lane and follow the strict speed limit of 30 MPH. 

Deadliest U.S. interstates 

Interstate 4 (Florida) 

The 132-mile interstate connects Tampa to Daytona Beach, Florida. It’s often ranked on lists for most dangerous interstates due to the high fatality rate, which has been as high as 1.41 per mile during the past 10 years. The Florida Safety Council attributes the accident rate to the high concentration of tourists driving unfamiliar rental cars while looking at GPS devices.  

Interstate 15 (Nevada and California) 

The 181-mile stretch of straight roadway connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles is in good shape, but drivers tend to speed through the open Mojave Desert. This interstate is often named one of the country’s most dangerous roads because of the high percentage of accidents involving drunk drivers coming from or going to Las Vegas.  

Scariest routes 

James W. Dalton Highway (Alaska) 

Connecting the towns Livengood and Prudhoe Bay, this 414-mile gravel and dirt road travels through the remote wilderness of Alaska. You might be familiar with the highway if you’ve seen the television show “Ice Road Truckers.” Only rugged 4x4 vehicles are allowed on the road, which runs parallel to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. From the halfway point of Coldfoot to the end of the road, there are no facilities for eating, lodging or refueling.  

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (Louisiana) 

Located in the New Orleans metropolitan area, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway connects Metairie to Mandeville. The Causeway comprises two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana. At nearly 24 miles long, it holds the Guinness World Record for longest bridge over water (continuous).  

The half-hour drive across The Causeway can be nerve-wracking for people who fear the water since dry land isn’t visible near the midpoint. Due to its location over the water, weather conditions can sometimes cause fog so thick that police escorts are needed to usher drivers across the bridge safely. 

Steepest and highest highways 

Bradford Street (California)

Located in the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco, Bradford Street is the steepest in the city, with a grade of 41% at the top. It’s the steepest street in the continental U.S. that’s open to vehicles. A one-ton car set to roll from the top of the road could reach 60 MPH in under 8 seconds!

Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway (Colorado) 

This 28-mile stretch of Highway 5 in Colorado leads to Mount Blue Sky (formerly Mount Evans), about 60 miles west of Denver. It’s the highest paved road in the U.S., gaining almost 9,000 feet of elevation as you drive, topping out at 14,264 feet above sea level. The road is narrow in several areas with sudden drop-offs and no guardrails (to preserve the natural beauty). Driving the highway requires reservations, and it’s only open to cars from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year, weather permitting. 

Worst road conditions

According to the Consumer Affairs report on U.S. Road Conditions, these continental states are known to have the worst road conditions. While the highways might not necessarily have more accidents than others, they do cause more wear and tear on vehicles.

Louisiana roads 

Louisiana drivers spend an average of $658 per year on car maintenance directly related to bad street conditions. Of the 61,300 miles of public roads, 46% are considered poor or mediocre, with poor patch jobs and potholes being residents’ main complaints.  Louisiana’s vehicle accident fatality rate is 1.42 per 100 million miles of travel, which is higher than the U.S. average of 1.11.  

Rhode Island roads 

Around 75% of Rhode Island’s major streets and 17% of its bridges are considered poor or mediocre. Drivers there spend an average of $833 per year on car maintenance related to bad road conditions. The state’s Department of Transportation cites lack of funding as the primary reason behind the shortfalls. Plus, the state coastline makes the highways susceptible to extreme weather and damage from salt water. 

Will you be driving soon? 

If you’re planning a long-distance move, U-Pack® can help by transporting your things so you can travel in the comfort of your own vehicle. Get a free quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant.  

Have you driven one of these roads or another scary one? Tell us what it was like in the comments below.