The 5 Most Dangerous Highways in the United States

When it comes to safety, not all highways are driven equally. There are some highways in the country that are considered more dangerous than others. Value Penguin, a research and analysis organization, studied the data from crashes of country’s highways between 2010 and 2016 to determine the country’s most dangerous highways. Using the three factors of fatal crashes per vehicles miles traveled per capita, fatalities per crash, and the percentage of fatal non-vehicle crashes on each highway. Here are the top five most dangerous highways.

  1. US-93 Arizona. This highway covers a stretch of 200 miles that takes many drivers between Las Vegas and Phoenix. Between 2010 and 2016, there were 70 fatal crashes with 90 fatalities. While fatality numbers are not the highest out of all highways, they were the most significant when all the factors were considered. Most of these crashes happened on the section of road in Mohave County, Arizona.
  2. SR-9 Oklahoma. The SR-9 highway is a 348 mile stretch of road going east to west in central Oklahoma. It is the second longest highway in the state. During the time period, there were 50 fatal crashes with 60 fatalities. The highest number of accidents happened along the portion of road in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.
  3. US-160 Colorado. Many locals in Colorado know that Wolf Creek Pass is a dangerous, high mountain pass where many vehicles have crashed. The steep roads and many switchbacks are dangerous areas during much of the year. During the specified years, there were 99 fatalities in 80 fatal crashes. The most dangerous part of the road is the section that goes through La Plata County as a whole. 
  4. 1-5 California. California has many highways that run north to south and this one is nearly 800 miles, stretching from Oregon to the Mexican border. Even though it passes through many big cities, the most dangerous portion of the highway is through Los Angeles County, where traffic is heaviest. Between 2010 and 2016, there were 680 fatal crashes with 768 fatalities.
  5. I-10 Texas. Another highway that spans the length of a state, this one stretches from near New Mexico all the way to Texas-Louisiana border. It travels through several big cities, including El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio. With 585 fatal crashes with a total of 676 fatalities, the section with the highest fatalities is through Harris County.

Safe Driving Tips

The best way to stay safe on these highways and any highway is to stay vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings by not being distracted. Remember all the basics from driving school; stay off your cellphone while driving and keep eating to a minimum while driving. Also keep alert by not driving drowsy or drinking and driving. Watch your speed and don’t engage in aggressive driving behaviors toward other drivers. And most importantly, make sure you and everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt.

If you are interested in learning more safe driver techniques, enroll in new driver training courses or take a review driving class. Keeping your driving skills sharp can make all the difference in staying safe on the roads. 

Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving: Which is Deadlier?

drowsy driving and drunk driving blog image

Not getting enough sleep is a common problem for the average American. Being overly tired leads to all kinds of health problems, but it also leads to major problems on the roads. According to 2018 data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, not getting enough sleep makes a driver four times more likely to crash than a driver who has slept from seven or more hours the night before. 

The Drunk Driving Equivalent

Since stopping drunk driving has been a point of interest and campaign for years, most drivers are aware of the dangers associated with it. While new drivers receive instruction on the dangers, the same level of attention hasn’t been applied to drowsy driving for the public. Most will acknowledge its danger, yet up to a third of those surveyed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety admitted to driving when they were dangerously tired in the last month.

The root of the drowsy driving problem is that people are too busy to spare time in their schedules to get enough rest. Looking at phones or screens right up until bedtime, trying to get too much done during the day, and not allocating enough time to sleep all contribute to drivers feeling overly tired. When starting on a long drive, drivers get relaxed and their body is finally not moving as much, leading to the body trying to get needed sleep.

When the body is overly tired, the reaction times slow down drastically, just like in a drunk person. Getting in the driver’s seat is extra dangerous in this condition. Plus, with being tired, sometimes the eyes will close for seconds or a person can nod off without meaning too, leaving the car uncontrolled. All it takes is a few seconds of being distracted or asleep for a serious crash to happen. Most responsible drivers would agree that it isn’t worth the risk.

Signs You’re Drowsy Driving

The biggest problem with driving drowsy is the same as driving drunk; drivers think they can push through and handle the situation. Most drivers who are overly tired think they can just push through the fatigue and get to their destination safely. Signs you are too tired to drive include:

  • Struggling to keep eyes open and focused
  • Frequent yawning
  • Drifting within the lane
  • Tailgating unintentionally
  • Feeling irritable and restless
  • Zoning out and missing signs or turns

If you notice that you are exhibiting these signs, it is time to pull off the road. Don’t try to push through it. Instead, wake yourself up by:

  • Parking in a safe place and walking or running around the car
  • Stopping and getting something to eat or drink, particularly something with caffeine if needed
  • Find a safe spot to take a quick nap

Taking a 20 to 30-minute nap might delay arriving at your destination, but it is worth the pause to make sure you get there safely. Since drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, it is important to recognize your limitations. Do the responsible thing and take the necessary steps to keep everyone on the road safe.