Recent trends show that American drivers are performing worse than usual. Traffic fatalities rose by 11% in 2021, and it doesn’t seem like the numbers will drop any time soon. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Americans drive about four trillion miles yearly, or about 14,500 miles per person. With all that time on the road, it’s no wonder why there are so many injuries and fatalities on American highways.

Top 5 Most Dangerous Roads in America

  1. S. Highway 1 in Florida. U.S. Highway 1 stretches from Key West to Maine. There have been over 1,000 deaths on Highway 1, representing a third of all traffic fatalities in Florida.
  2. S. Highway 83 in Texas. U.S. Highway 83 spans about 900 miles and sees an average of 26 deaths per year.
  3. Interstate 4 in Florida. I-4 is a deadly combination of tourist congestion and the daily commute of Floridians.
  4. State Road 138 in California. With the nickname “Death Trap Highway,” State Road 138 has a reputation for terror due to drop-offs, poor visibility, and sharp turns.
  5. Route 6 in Connecticut. Although Route 6 is relatively short and Connecticut has a small population, this highway has claimed many lives.

What Makes a Highway Dangerous?

Each of the most dangerous highways has a unique blend of factors that make driving hazardous. However, some elements are consistently involved in traffic fatalities, including:

  • Outdated infrastructure. Outdated infrastructure includes faded paint, confusing signs, missing guardrails, potholes, and burned-out lights.
  • Heavy congestion. Heavy traffic can inspire reckless driving or road rage and exposes you to more inexperienced, intoxicated, or dangerous drivers.
  • States with extreme weather conditions always present a driving danger, especially in areas with intense winter storms that cause a lot of crashes.
  • Perilous conditions. Mountain roads with steep drop-offs, wind tunnels, routes with sharp turns, and other dangerous situations often lead to traffic fatalities.

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About the Author

Jon Knight

Jon Knight leads the NASP Team’s media creation department. He has been involved with workplace safety training since 2017 with a focus on course creation. He also provides video production and voiceovers for NASP content.
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