Most dangerous roads in America
Whether you’re looking for the safest paths to travel or you’re interested in finding thrilling places to drive, knowing the scariest roads in the United States is sure to help. Our list of the ten most dangerous roads was compiled using accident data, comments from people who have driven on them, and a look at the general safety measures used during construction. Before heading out on your next road adventure, be sure you’re choosing the route you want.
A list of the 10 most dangerous roads
1. James Dalton Highway in Alaska
According to the Bureau of Land Management, this 414-mile, mostly gravel road isn’t one you should take without proper preparation. Services are only available in a few locations and there are no medical facilities along the highway. Before making the drive, you should pack essential items like food, water and medication. You should also always drive with your headlights on and keep an eye out for wildlife.
Note:Some rental car companies have restrictions about driving on this road, so check with them before deciding to make the trip in a rental.
2. U.S. 129 in North Carolina
Though most of this road is easy to navigate, the 11-mile stretch called the “Tail of the Dragon” puts this road on the list. In 11 miles, there are 318 curves. While it is a popular spot for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts, you should still take extreme caution when navigating the tight turns.
3. 1-45 in Texas
This interstate connecting Dallas and Houston was ranked the second-deadliest highway in the United States by ValuePenguin (a research institute). This ranking is most likely due to the sheer amount of traffic it sees every day, so commuters should always take precautions while driving. The Texas Department of Transportation released a redesign plan in 2015 that outlines a strategy for widening areas of the road and increasing its capacity.
4. U.S. Route 6 in Utah
A multitude of twists and turns have earned this highway its reputation as one of the most dangerous roads. To help with this, safety improvements such as rumble strips and a median divider have been made. Fatality rates have decreased in the last few years, but drivers should still be cautious.
5. I-10 in California
I-10 goes through San Bernardino County and offers travelers a quick way to get from Santa Monica to Los Angeles. Like most interstates, this road can often experience high-traffic volumes, which can lead to accidents. This issue, combined with a few sharp turns, makes this road a potentially hazardous place to drive.
6. I-95 in Connecticut
Though construction has alleviated some congestion issues, the 112-mile section of 1-95 that passes through Connecticut has been the site for many vehicle crashes. According to news source The Day, 1,301 accidents occurred on this portion of road from 2010-2014.
7. The Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys
This highway is the southernmost section of U.S. Highway 1 and is the only road in and out of the Florida Keys. Though the view is beautiful, the road does have 42 bridges and can experience heavy traffic at times. Drivers should be careful when crossing as visitors may be tempted to drive slow and take in the sights.
8. U.S. 550 in Colorado
The section of Highway 550 between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado is known as the “Million Dollar Highway.” Steep grades, tight turns and no guardrails can make this scenic route slightly treacherous, so drivers should take note of conditions before venturing out.
9. I-15 in Nevada
I-15 has a 181-mile segment that connects Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Because this road has very few turns, the high fatality rate is often attributed to fast speeds and improper seat belt use. If you’re driving this section of highway, be sure to stay alert, follow speed limit signs and wear your safety restraints.
10. Route 200 in Hawaii
Also known as Saddle Road, this 54-mile route has a few rough sections with low visibility. There are also some one-lane bridges and sharp turns that will require extra attention while driving. Keep in mind that there are no gas stations along the road, so you’ll need to fill the tank before making the trip.
Avoiding scary roads
While taking one of these roads might be the quickest route to your destination, it might be a good idea to avoid them if possible. Check for alternate routes, even if it's only for a portion of the trip.
If you live near any of these roads or highways and know the best way to avoid the most dangerous stretches, let us know in the comments!
Suggested Reading: How to Plan a Road Trip
More articles you might like...