Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Summary
  • The most dangerous highways in America include the I-95, US-1, I-20, Dalton Highway, and I-5.
  • Some of the most dangerous highways in America are perilous specifically because they’re so widely used – especially by truck drivers.
  • When taking on dangerous highways, it’s important to drive predictably, keep your distance from other vehicles, and focus on the road.

Highway driving can be incredibly dangerous for the unprepared. A lot can go wrong when driving at high speeds over long distances, and it doesn’t help that you’ll need to share the road with other drivers as well.

Some of the most dangerous highways in America are perilous specifically because they’re so widely used – especially by truck drivers.

Collision accidents with trucks on the highway are often fatal. The likelihood of these accidents occurring increases exponentially when it rains, snows, or gets foggy. So it pays to know which highways to be extra careful on and what you can do to prepare for them.

The Deadliest Highways in America

Inclement weather, extreme temperatures, and even the presence of other drivers can make a simple drive through the highway a life-threatening one. In no particular order, here are some of the most dangerous highways in America relative to how many accidents and vehicle-related fatalities occur in them.

I-95, South Carolina

i 95 south carolina
It’s arguable that I-95, or Interstate 95, is the most dangerous highway in America, stretching across the entirety of the East Coast.

It’s arguable that I-95, or Interstate 95, is the most dangerous highway in America, stretching across the entirety of the East Coast. The highway is an estimated 1,920 miles long, running across 16 states from Florida to Maine.

In South Carolina, approximately 30 people get into fatal car accidents on I-95 alone every year. However, the number of deaths per year across the span of I-95 exceeds 285.

Many accidents occur in wintertime due to heavy snowfall, black ice, and cold temperatures.

US-1, Florida

us 1 florida
What makes US-1 so dangerous is the number of drivers who use it. It’s one of the busiest roads in America, becoming one of the deadliest roads in the country by default.

US-1, or U.S. Route 1, is another extremely dangerous highway on the East Coast that runs from Florida to Maine.

It’s similar to I-95 in many ways, but US-1 is further west, closer to the coast. The highway is roughly 2,390 miles long, running across 15 different states.

What makes US-1 so dangerous is the number of drivers who use it. It’s one of the busiest roads in America, becoming one of the deadliest roads in the country by default.

I-20, Texas

i 20 texas
Another dangerous highway is the Interstate 20, or I-20, which is approximately 636 miles long and runs from Texas to Louisiana.

Another dangerous highway is the Interstate 20, or I-20, which is approximately 636 miles long and runs from Texas to Louisiana.

This intersection can be deadly to drivers because of its poor infrastructure and a lack of regular road maintenance. It’s also connected to most of the other highways in Texas, making it confusing to navigate.

It doesn’t help that Texas is infamous for its harsh and unpredictable weather, making it tricky to prepare for a long drive on the I-20.

Dalton Highway, Alaska

dalton highway alaska
Preparation is a must when driving through the Dalton Highway because of how remote and far away it is from civilization. The highway only cuts through three towns, and there’s a long 240-mile stretch without any rest stops.

The James Dalton Highway in Alaska is significantly shorter than the other highways on the list, but make no mistake – it’s every bit as dangerous.

The highway itself is 414 miles long, and the drive features gorgeous views of the Yukon River as well as Alaskan forests as far as the eye can see.

It’s cold, especially in winter, meaning drivers need to watch out for black ice and snowfall. Other hazards include unpaved roads and loose gravel that can reduce traction.

Preparation is a must when driving through the Dalton Highway because of how remote and far away it is from civilization. The highway only cuts through three towns, and there’s a long 240-mile stretch without any rest stops.

In short, drivers won’t find any gas stations, restaurants, or motels for approximately 4-5 hours.

I-5, California

i 5 california
Approximately 150-200 people die in I-5 every year, with the most common cause being collision accidents with the commercial trucks that often use the highway.

Last but not least, California’s I-5 or Interstate 5 deserves attention as one of the deadliest highways in America. What makes this 797-mile intersection so perilous is its steep inclines and harsh weather conditions.

Approximately 150-200 people die in I-5 every year, with the most common cause being collision accidents with the commercial trucks that often use the highway.

Visibility in the intersection is often low due to dust storms and rainfall, which make it far easier for drivers to get into accidents.

Safety Driving Tips When Braving Dangerous Highways

Never take on America’s most dangerous highways unprepared. Whether you’re going on a road trip or just passing through, conduct a quick maintenance to ensure your vehicle is in great shape.

Here are other handy tips to keep your driving experience on America’s highways smooth and safe.

Avoid Driving at Night

Visibility decreases drastically after sunset, making it hard to watch out for other vehicles and road hazards. If your trip isn’t urgent, it’s best to drive through highways during the day.

Drive Predictably and Maintain a Steady Speed

Highways are long and winding. Driving on them can get monotonous even though drivers can go fast.

You can’t count on other drivers to stay focused on highways, so drive predictably and maintain a steady speed. It’ll help you maintain control and adjust accordingly in case you come across reckless speedsters and other irresponsible drivers.

Focus on the Road

Turn off your gadgets or put them on silent mode to prevent distractions. Keep a sharp eye out for other cars, obstacles, and other road hazards that might cause problems.

Keep Your Distance from Other Cars

Maintain a three-second following distance from other vehicles at all times to give yourself ample time to react in case the car in front of you slows down or comes to an abrupt stop.

Keeping your distance is crucial when sharing the road with trucks because of their blind spots and poor maneuverability.

Stick to Your Lane

Avoid overtaking other vehicles if possible to minimize the risk of traffic accidents.

Change lanes and overtake other vehicles only if you have to. Don’t forget to use your turn signals to let other drivers know of your intentions.

Stay in the Know

Watch the news to stay up-to-date about traffic and weather conditions before driving. Hold off on your road trip if a storm is coming, if there’s heavy snowfall, or if there’s a lot of traffic.

Use Appropriate Tires

Install winter tires when snow starts to fall to maximize your vehicle’s grip on the road. These tires withstand freezing temperatures and improve traction on snowy, icy surfaces.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

Unity
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

View all Questions & Answers

expand_more
CarParts.com Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now