The chances of getting into a car accident on any road in the United States are high for all drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average American has a 30 percent chance of being involved in a serious auto accident in their lifetime. But it becomes even more difficult to avoid a serious accident when traveling roads that have a history of accidents.
If you are excited about traveling this summer, you probably want to have a safe trip that doesn’t require a call to your auto insurance company. To increase your chances of a pleasant journey, make note of roadways noted by MSN that will require your full attention while driving as they are considered among the top 10 dangerous roadsand highways in the United States.
1. Colorado 550 from Ouray to Silverton
This two-lane stretch of highway in southern Colorado is known for being extremely dangerous due to its S-curves that wind through three San Juan Mountains passes. But what makes the stretch even more dangerous is wildlife migration and deer hunting in late fall that push thousands of animals to move across the highway. Did we mention this highway also passes through an avalanche zone?
One thing is for sure. If you’re traveling through this stretch, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road and carry good comprehensive insurance.
2. New York, I-95, Cross-Bronx Expressway
According to MSN, the Cross Bronx is known as one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the nation. A study was conducted by researchers at INRIX in 2008 that found the 1-95 corridor flowing in and out of New York City to be more dangerous because tractor-trailers drive at rapid speeds down this stretch—tire-to-tire with cars. The danger comes from tons of potholes, a lack of shoulders and speed-crazed drivers.
3. Nevada I-15
The stretch of 1-15 between Nevada and California is known to be among the most dangerous in the United States. In a nine-year time frame, 173 people lost their lives, mostly by going too fast on a road that is already challenging to navigate.
It consists of 125 miles of desert terrain and a particularly intimidating climb through a 4,000-foot pass southeast of Las Vegas. Some people enjoy speeding through this area for thrills, causing accidents that can, of course, be life threatening.
4. Louisiana, Interstate 10
Interstate 10 in Louisiana crosses the southern part of the state and passes through New Orleans. Because much of this stretch was washed away by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, some of the road has never been fully repaired, which is why, as you’re driving, it’s good to take heed to the pavement buckling as the soil shifts, as well as tons of potholes.
5. Atlanta I-285 at I-85 Interchange (Spaghetti Junction)
This web of highway in Atlanta makes the list of most dangerous roads in America because of the confusion it creates. I-285 and I-85 create a junction that is a five-level interchange with multiple ramps and smaller roads that feed into it.
Because of the confusion caused by this junction, The American Highway Users Alliance gave it a grade of F, indicating that its stop-and-go traffic causes 133,000 hours of traffic delays each year. But the time factor becomes a smaller issue in the winter when rain and freezing temperatures make this interchange resemble a skating rink—and cause tons of accidents.
6. Maine Highway 1
The two lane stretch of Maine Highway 1 is indeed one of the most dangerous roads to travel in the U.S., largely due to the heavy moose population in the northern reaches of the state and their tendency to roam the road.
Currently, Maine has the highest fatality rate on rural roads of any state in the country, partially thanks to the moose who are hard to see at night because they’re eyes aren’t reflected in headlights. Also, in the summer time, the roadside blueberry stands and other attractions seem to catch tourists’ eyes while driving, causing more accidents than the norm.
7. Los Angeles 101 to 1-405 Interchange
Freeways 101 and 405 in Los Angeles, which link the east side of the city to the downtown area is known as a dangerous stretch because drivers spend so much time riding bumper-to-bumper.
Stats show that an average of 318,000 drivers use this juncture every day, which means you are bound to be stuck in traffic for a while. This is indeed a formula for dangerous conditions as drivers get road rage and others may pay little attention and find themselves in fender benders.
8. San Diego, I-5
Because of Mexico, which is right beneath SoCal, allows U.S. minors to drink at the age of 18, you’ll find a lot of college students driving this stretch for a little weekend fun and returning inebriated.
Believe it or not, 10,000 to 15,000 people are arrested committing DUIs in San Diego County each year. Seeing that 32 percent of fatal car crashes are the result of individuals driving under the influence, it’s smart to drive with caution down this stretch, especially on the weekends.
9. Chicago Circle Interchange
This highway interchange was built in downtown Chicago in the 1950s as a way to link 1-94, 1-90 and 1-290. At the time, there weren’t nearly as many vehicles on the road, so it provided a pleasant way for commuters to navigate through the city.
But several decades later, the city’s population increased considerably, making the single-lane, circular on-ramps no longer conducive to 25 mile-per-hour traffic. The average traffic delays, thanks to this interchange, are 90 minutes, leaving many drivers frustrated and the danger of accidents high.
10. Providence, Rhode Island (I-95 at the I-195 Interchange)
This interchange, similar to Chicago’s, was built in the 1950s; however, it was created as a way to help drivers follow routes that already existed in and around the Providence area. Safety was compromised in the creation of this interchange due to short on- and off-ramps and sharp curves that contribute to frequent accidents and traffic jams. As a result, it is considered one of America’s worst bottlenecks.
Unfortunately, many of the roads and highways that are considered the most dangerous routes are difficult to avoid for most drivers in the area. So if you must take these routes in your commute, be sure to carry liability insurance, as well as comprehensive and collision insurance so that you’re financially prepared for the hazardous conditions you could face.
Stacey Bumpus started writing as a youngster, creating little fun newsletters to distribute to her elementary school friends. But it wasn’t until she completed her bachelors and masters degrees in communication that she realized her fun pastime could become a career.
After spending years in corporate communications, she discovered that freelancing was her cup of tea and fell in love with finding the latest financial news. Now, providing news and tips about taxes, mortgages, banking and even logging her efforts to save toward retirement, she’s not only fulfilling her childhood passion, but also helping others manage their finances responsibly.