Let’s face it – driving can be dangerous. No matter how safely we drive or how religiously we follow traffic laws, driving in the United States can still be risky. Keeping this in mind, there are just some highways that are more dangerous than others, and they can be found all over the country. That is why the experts at Car-Registration.org have taken the time to compile information on some of the most treacherous roads in the nation.
Interstate 26 in South Carolina
Boasting remarkably steep ditches and relatively few guardrails, the team at Car-Registration.org certainly believes that I-26 in South Carolina deserves a spot on the list. Throughout the years, numerous publications in South Carolina have labeled I-26 as one of the most dangerous and deadliest roads in the state. The most common type of accident on this road involves vehicles veering off the road and crashing into the trees and ditches that line the highway. Traffic safety experts analyzed the 10-year death toll on I-26 and found that it was twice as high as that of most busy highways in densely populated urban areas.
Interstate-10 Between California and Arizona
Interstate-10 is one of the longest highways in the country, stretching from nearly one coast to the other. In general, it is a relatively safe highway, but a single stretch from the border of California to Phoenix has proven to be hazardous to drivers. This 150-mile piece of I-10 spans a barren desert landscape, and the team at Car-Registration.org has found that nearly one in seven of all deadly crashes in Arizona takes place here. Out of Arizona’s average of 700 deadly accidents a year, an average of 85 to 90 take place on I-10.
Highway 2 in Montana
For years, Highway 2 has been ranked as the most dangerous road in the country by both the University of Minnesota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Located in a remote part of Montana, it takes nearly an hour and a half to transport severely injured accident victims to the nearest trauma center from this highway (the national average is 15 minutes). The NHTSA also cites high speeds as a leading cause of crashes here.
Highway 138 in California
Affectionately known as the “highway of death” by locals, Highway 138 (an offshoot of Interstate-15) has one of the highest death tolls of any U.S. roadway. During a 5-year stretch, 875 people were injured and 56 lost their lives on Highway 138. Highway safety experts attribute the high number of crashes to the road’s steep and narrow lanes. Drivers also report having difficulty seeing oncoming traffic due to the original design of the highway and topography. In 2006, the state aimed to reduce the death rate by creating wider lanes.
Highway 550 in Colorado
You would expect a highway known as the “million-dollar highway” to be relatively safe, but names can be misleading. Perched almost 11,000 feet above sea level, Highway 550 in Colorado cuts through the San Juan Mountains and the Red Mountain Pass. The road offers motorists breathtaking mountain views of the landscape, but the team at Car-Registration.org finds that it lacks guardrails and shoulders in many locations, and the surrounding area is subject to landslides and falling debris throughout the year. Since there are no shoulders or rails, a simple mistake could lead to a deadly accident.