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4 Dangerous Highways in America

10/11/2013

There are various factors that can cause a bad accident to take place, such as: drinking and driving, texting while driving, a range of distractions, bad weather conditions, and much more. However, there is another significant element that can influence whether or not a crash occurs - dangerous roadways. Throughout America, there are a variety of features that can determine if a road or highway is unsafe or not, including: steep cliffs, narrow lanes, few or no guardrails, and sharp curves or ditches. Below, is a list of four common highways in America that have been deemed to be "hazardous."

I-26 in South Carolina

Identified as "one of the deadliest roads in South Carolina" by the Charleston Post and Courier, the portion of Interstate 26 that is the most fatal is also relatively small. According to federal and state records, 325 people died in 286 accidents from 2000 to 2010. The oldest victim was 99 years old, while the youngest was just four years old. Common elements behind these deadly crashes show diversity, such as: few guardrails, steep ditches, hitting trees in the median, and rollovers. When determining why these crashes occurred, other reasons have been presented, such as: bad weather, heavy traffic, and boredom.

Highways 550 in Colorado

This 25-mile long road in southwestern Colorado is noted for being 11,000 feet above sea level. As it passes through Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains, it lacks several safety features, including guardrails. When choosing this route, there are other factors to be conscious of, such as: S-curves, crossing deer, ice and severe winter conditions, and the fact that there aren't many shoulders along this highway, meaning that you could find yourself tumbling down the side of a mountain. Highway 550 is also notoriously known for being directly located in the path of a major avalanche zone.

Highway 2 in Montana

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rural roads are more dangerous than urban roads. This conclusion comes from various findings, such as: there are longer transportation times for ambulances to reach crash victims, as well as the fact that drivers tend to drive faster because of the thin amount of traffic. Highway 2 in Montana can be traveled from the Idaho border, all the way down to Kalispell. The Center of Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota claims that this is one of the nation's most dangerous roads, with the highest fatality rate in the United States. This verdict can be asserted to dangerous turns, steep grades, mountain driving, and high speeds.

I-15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

The Los Angeles Times state: "troopers are clamping down on speeding on Interstate 15 from the California state line to Las Vegas." Known for now incorporating a "zero tolerance" technique, you could find yourself getting pulled over by an officer for something as big as speeding or as small as not signaling when you switch lanes. One in four vacationers in Vegas actually comes from Southern California; however, speeding isn't the only issue that causes this popular stretch of road to be dangerous. Other factors that result in fatal crashes include: drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, and various distractions (i.e. cell phone usage).

Be Alert

When you're driving, you not only need to be aware of your actions, but of the actions of other drivers, as well. It's important to be alert at all times and stay focused on the road in front of you, as well as your complete surroundings. Though there are many factors that can be controlled to accomplish road safety, there is still one dynamic that is out of your hands-the condition of the road. Therefore, it's always imperative to be cautious and completely prepared every time you get behind the wheel or into a moving vehicle.

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