The scariest roads in America

The scariest roads in America

Have you taken any of these treacherous drives?
Andrew Sheldon
scary roads

Regardless of location, condition, or speed limit, accidents can strike on any street. While some roads harbor danger around every bend, others are perilous throughout their entire length. This multitude of threats can transform any drive into a nerve-wracking experience. Here, we take a closer look at some of the most frightening and harrowing roads in America.


Colorado's Million Dollar Highway

Officially designated as U.S. Route 550, the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado has earned its ominous nickname from the harrowing experiences of early travelers. This stunning roadway navigates Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas, but at a significant cost. With sheer cliffs and treacherous hairpin turns that ascend more than 11,000 feet above sea level, the journey becomes all the more unnerving due to the complete absence of guardrails. Severe Colorado weather and the occasional rockslide further contribute to its reputation as one of the country's most dangerous roads, as noted in a USA Today compilation.


U.S. Route 1, Florida

Florida's U.S. Route 1, one of the many states lacking a full ban on using handheld cellphones while driving, has been identified as a danger zone. A recent study spanning from 2015 to 2019 found that Florida's section of U.S. 1 ranked as the second deadliest road in the country, with 87 fatalities during that period. Its long stretches of straight road along the eastern coast encourage speeding and unsafe driving. The southern section, known as the Overseas Highway, linking the Florida Keys to Miami, primarily consists of bridge driving, which can be particularly distracting and unsettling for many.


Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, a nearly 24-mile expanse that holds the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge over water, presents an exhilarating yet nerve-racking experience. Suspended over the lake for approximately half an hour, drivers must contend with reduced visibility due to thick fog, which can envelop the causeway, making navigation particularly challenging.


I-4, Florida

Once dubbed the deadliest interstate in the United States with 1.41 fatalities per mile, Interstate 4 running from Tampa to Daytona Beach poses unique risks. Its route directly through Orlando, a major tourist destination, compounds the danger, as visitors unfamiliar with their rental cars often focus on GPS navigation and mobile devices while driving.


I-45, Texas

Some roads become hazardous due to design, terrain, or sheer driver volume, and the Galveston to Dallas section of I-45 in Texas falls into the latter category. Named the deadliest road in America by Budget Direct, I-45 averages 56.5 fatal accidents for every 100 miles of roadway, largely due to heavy traffic and driver complacency.


I-10, Arizona

A 300-mile stretch of Interstate 10 through Arizona stands out as particularly treacherous. Its long, straight sections through the desert can unfortunately result in high speeds, aggressive driving, illegal passing, and driver inattention. Over a recent six-year period, nearly 500 fatalities were recorded on Arizona's I-10.


Interstate 15 (I-15), Nevada and California

Though the 181-mile stretch of Interstate 15 connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles is well-maintained and straight, it consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous roads in the country. The primary issue is the behavior of the drivers, many of whom exceed speed limits while traveling through the Mojave Desert, with a substantial portion being either arriving at or departing from Las Vegas. A significant proportion of crashes on this route involve drunk driving.


I-285, Georgia

Atlanta's I-285, known as "The Perimeter," encircles the city in a 64-mile loop, connecting all area interstates and highways. The heavy traffic, sharp turns, interchanges, and the presence of large trucks have turned I-285 into a hazardous stretch of road. In 2015, Vox calculated the road's fatality rate at 3.5 per every 10 miles, making it the country's deadliest interstate at the time.


U.S. Route 17, South Carolina

South Carolina's Highway 17, a picturesque drive winding through forests, marshlands, and oceanside towns, harbors hidden dangers. Sharp, blind turns, narrow lanes, and abundant wildlife make it a perilous journey. It was even named the country's most dangerous highway for summer travel in one study.


Dalton Highway, Alaska

The James Dalton Highway, spanning 414 miles from Fairbanks to Deadhorse on the Arctic Ocean, cuts through Alaska's most treacherous terrains. This remote road, primarily used for transporting oil, traverses forests, tundras, steep grades, and the Yukon River. With only three towns along its entire route and a 240-mile stretch devoid of gas stations or rest stops, any mishap on this highway can result in prolonged waits for assistance.


Highway 2, Montana

Montana's Highway 2, a fast-moving road through mountainous regions, poses unique risks due to its 70 mph speed limit, remote areas, and extended response times for emergency services. The road's scenic beauty is paired with the isolation of its surroundings, leading to potentially dangerous situations.


Road to Hana, Hawaii

Maui's Road to Hana, a 52-mile route connecting Kahului to Hana along the rugged eastern shoreline, may offer picturesque views but is far from a leisurely drive. With 620 turns and 59 narrow bridges, the route demands extreme caution and can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete. For a safer experience, the Hawaii Tourism Authority recommends traveling with a permitted tour company.


Even if you have a foreboding drive ahead, drive with peace of mind knowing that AAA will be there for you. Just make sure you're covered for the mileage you need. Find out if upgrading is a good option for you.

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