Top 10 Deadliest Highways in North America (And How to Stay Safe)

Death by crime and disease might rank highly in the media as newsworthy but are deaths by motor vehicle accidents being overlooked. Over 33,700 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. Isn’t that a national emergency?

Is your daily commute a hazard to your health? Perhaps you drive regularly on one of the deadliest highways in America. Read on to learn about North America’s most notorious roads and how you can stay safe.

1. Ontario Highway 401

The 401 runs along the US border. Its volume or traffic is enormous and yet the road conditions, especially in winter are treacherous. There are regular pile-ups and fatalities.

2. Mexican Federal Highway 101

The dangers of Highway 101 are more than just traffic accidents. Drug trade and criminal activity make this doubly dangerous territory. Car theft and drug-related murders are also common.

3. Dalton Highway in Alaska

With 400 miles of tundra and forest to look at and the Yukon River crossing perhaps it’s the view that distracts drivers. There’s a 240-mile section without anything else to look at. Nowhere to eat, fill-up, or stay overnight.

There are parts of this road that are prone to avalanches. Some of it is very steep. There are even parts of the road that have no paving.

Don’t run out of gas or have an accident. You’re not likely to find help anytime soon.

4. US Route 1, Florida

With many thousand deaths, US Route 1 may be number one in more than one way. The route to Key West from the north is used by tourists, commuters, and truckers. It’s the east coast’s main route to this beautiful part of Florida.

Some stretches of the highway are on dramatic bridges over water. The beauty is undeniable. The combination of heavy traffic, mixed-use makes for a fatal mix.

5. Route 99, California

California’s central valley is intersected by Route 99. Sacramento, the state capital, and the important cities of Fresno and Modesto are all served by this busy highway.

This is a key trucking route as well as a commuter route. Traffic between these cities is heavy. California and the Pacific Northwest are important commercially and that makes for busy roads and high accident risk.

6. I-15, Nevada

Interstate 15 begins in Albert, Canada, and stretches south to the Mexican border. It passes through the US states of Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. It’s an important north-south interstate.

Most of the highway is unremarkable. It’s one section that is notoriously dangerous. The desert section in the state of Nevada is deadly.

Las Vegas and Los Angeles are the attractions at either end of this dangerous road. This isn’t a road to gamble with. The desert is a dangerous environment in which to have an accident or to run out of gas or water.

7. Colorado’s Route 55

You might wonder why this road is known as the Million Dollar highway. Perhaps it’s because once you’ve completed the journey you’d want a million dollars to do it again.

There are mountain passes and steep sections. In parts, the road is narrow and winding. The lack of guard rails is unnerv ing especially as the drop by the edge of the road is so dramatic.

As well as the road conditions there are other hazards to contend with. There are high winds that change frequently with every turn in the road. Rocks often fall from the sheer cliffs. Winter conditions with extreme ice and snow mean you would be very unwise to attempt a journey here.

8. Interstate 285, Georgia

The city with the greatest population in Georgia is Atlanta. It became a hub for the early railroad and now is an important airline hub. It’s therefore a business center and attracts huge amounts of commuters and visitors.

The key route into Atlanta is the I-285. It’s congested during rush hour but its problems are compounded by its many ramps. Getting off and on the interstate is a dangerous game of dodge ball.

9. Route 2, Montana

Very long stretches of featureless road, as well as mountainous sections, makes this route through Montana a health risk.

Route 2 is an important coast to coast route. It’s the most northerly of the coast to coast routes crossing from an interchange with Interstate 5 in Washington state and ends at Interstate 95 in Maine.

It’s the Montana section that provides the main problems for road safety. The remote location, featureless countryside, and absence of help mean if you breakdown or have an accident, you’re on your own.

10. Interstate 495, Capital Beltway

Looping around Washington DC, the Capital Beltway is so busy that accidents are a regular occurrence. The area around Bethesda, Maryland is especially dangerous.

As a major route into the city, the congestion is harmful to the lives and health of the road users but it is also a drain on the efficiency of the nation’s capital.

Safety Tips Not Just for the Deadliest Highways in America

There are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

Wear a seatbelt and don’t use a cellphone while driving. Be considerate to other road users including only using the left lane when passing.

Keep your distance from the car in front when driving and moderate your speed. Road rage can reduce your ability to make good decisions so learn to control it.

Beware of tiredness and take regular breaks. Poor weather conditions call for more care.

Never drink and drive. If you have a breakdown or accident, take care when you exit your vehicle.

What If You Have an Accident?

Stop the vehicle and if someone was injured or damage was done, call the police. Help anyone that was injured and make the area safe including moving the vehicle if necessary.

Exchange information such as driver’s license, insurance details, registration, name, and address. Don’t admit fault but be polite.

Get medical treatment and keep any documentation of the treatment. Let your insurance company know about the accident.

Take the advice of an accident lawyer. you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of damage to your vehicle and loss of earnings. Personal injury lawyers such as Veron Bice Palermo & Wilson can advise you.

Safe Driver

Sometimes just knowing about danger can make you better able to cope with it. Drive safely on the deadliest highways in America and on all roads. If you have an accident, get the right help.

Browse our website for more travel tips.

Amanda Byers

Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zubuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.

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Amanda Byers

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