Between Henry Ford’s dream of making car travel accessible to most Americans and President Eisenhower’s plan to criss-cross the country with 48.000 miles of roads to make interstate travel a great way to see the country, Americans can hop into their cars, explore the country, visit friends and family, plan a vacation getaway, and visit their choice of states in the continental United States. But is automobile travel safe? Recently, The New York Post collaborated with AAA to compile a list of the most dangerous roads in America.
So this week we are inviting you to take a safe armchair journey across the country, noting and avoiding these hazardous intersections.
If you live in Florida, you do not have the breathtaking views of mountains or ski slopes that the west offers, so you might be thinking of a trip to Colorado, and you might be tempted to take a drive down its legendary Million Dollar Highway, otherwise known as US Route 550, located in Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains, 11,000 feet above sea level, but do you know that it earned its nickname from a woman who swore it would take a million dollars to get her to ride its harrowing twists and turns again? It has also earned the designation as one of the most dangerous roads in America.
All right, then, let’s stay closer to home in sunny Florida, where it’s closer to sea level. Let’s plan a trip to the Florida Keys, a famous destination spot, famous for its fabulous fishing, boating, scuba diving and snorkeling, visits to hangouts of famous authors (Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Robert Frost,), and delicious seafood dinners topped off with an eponymous slice of Key lime pie. But wait! To get there you have to travel across an engineering marvel of bridges. A study found that between 2015 and 2019 87 people died on this section of U.S Route 1, making it one of the deadliest roads in America. Especially treacherous is the south end of the highway, known as the Overseas Highway, consisting of miles of bridges overlooking the water that many people find scary to navigate.
Another dangerous traffic spot in the Sunshine State of Florida is further up north on the 149-mile stretch of Interstate 4 (I4) between Daytona Beach and Tampa, Florida, across central Florida’s east and west coasts, flanking Orlando, the vacation hotspot home of Disney World, Universal Studios, and other attractions. This road was once named the deadliest highway in America, with roughly 1.41 deaths per mile on the highway, according to AAA.
Lake Ponchartrain Causeway in nearby Louisiana is even longer than the final stretch of U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys. In fact, at 24 miles long it holds the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge over water. Drivers find the middle of the bridge nerve wracking, especially when billows of thick fog envelop the causeway. Many drivers call for local police to escort drivers safely across the bridge. This is a prudent step for an out-of-towner to take.
Also on the deadliest road list is a 64-mile loop encompassing Atlanta, Georgia’s Interstate 285, which connects to other major highways in the region, leading to a high rate of fatalities–3.5 deaths for every 10 miles. Another state along the eastern seaboard is Route 17 in South Carolina, where drivers can enjoy scenic views along U.S. Highway 17 while navigating narrow lanes and sharp turns.
Another contender for deadliest road is the Galveston-to-Dallas section of Interstate 45 in Texas, which has racked up 56.5 fatal crashes for every 100 miles of highway. The high rate of fatalities is attributed to traffic congestion and driver inattention.
West of Texas is Interstate 10, which runs from Jacksonville, Florida, to Santa Monica, California, but the stretch of highway running through the deserts of Arizona is extremely dangerous because the seemingly lonesome stretch invites speeding and aggressive driving, leading to nearly 500 deaths in six years.
On the west coast, the dubious distinction of deadliest road in America goes to the nearly 200-mile stretch of Interstate 15 between Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, where speeding through the Mojave Desert or driving drunk enroute to Las Vegas, Nevada has too often ended in fatalities.
Other states with dangerous roads to avoid are the James Dalton Highway in Alaska, Highway 2 in Montana, and Maui’s Road to Hana in Hawaii.
So you should always drive safely, but while on a road trip on unfamiliar terrain, be aware of heightened dangers on these roads and do not become a traffic accident or fatality statistic.
What should you do if involved in a car accident whether in Florida or elsewhere in America?
First, always call 911 and make sure the accident is reported. Never leave the scene without a report or by simply exchanging insurance information. This is a huge mistake. Take photographs of the scene, exchange information with the other drivers, identify witnesses, get witness name and contact information, and notify your insurance company. Get urgent medical care immediately! After that, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights.
Regardless of where your accident occurred, The Datny Law Firm is available 24/7 to provide you with a FREE consultation. We handle car accident cases throughout the State of Florida and have offices in Boca Raton, Wellington (by appointment), Winter Park (by appointment) and are available to meet in person or remotely. As mentioned above, many tourists are injured in car accidents while visiting Florida whether in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa or Orlando. The Datny Law Firm has represented many injured car accident victims and tourists from other states who have had their Disney vacation cut short due to Orlando’s dangerous highways and drivers. We know how to stay connected with non-Florida Clients and collaborate with their healthcare professionals back home. Call 561-221-7474 to speak directly with our attorney. Remember, Time is of the Essence after a Florida Car Accident.