Trucking is a dangerous job. The average semi-truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons. Multiply that by the average posted speed limit for trucks (55 mph) and you have a great deal of momentum. Ideally, truck drivers are alert, awake, and well-trained in controlling their vehicle. However, as many truckers know, ideal circumstances are rarely the case. Badly-maintained or poorly-located highways can cause even the most alert and skilled driver to lose control.
Below, we have listed 5 of the worst, most precarious roads in the United States.
Montana’s Highway 2
Wide-open highways surrounded by miles of flat space may not seem like a very dangerous location, but record-breaking fatalities on this Montana highway would argue otherwise. While it may not seem precarious, getting seriously injured on this highway reveals what makes it dangerous: it is over an hour away from the nearest medical assistance. While ambulances are able to reach most urban locations in 15 minutes, the average response time on Highway 2 is 80 minutes, with some parts of the highway being hours away from emergency aid.
Colorado’s Route 550
Also known as “Million Dollar Highway,” many truckers regard Route 550 as one of the most dangerous roads to travel in winter, but it is fairly dangerous in any weather. 550 travels through the San Juan Mountain passes, utilizing s-curve turns on a narrow, two-lane road with no guardrails. The lack of guardrails is to allow for avalanches to fall off the road, which is yet another danger that truckers must watch out for. However, the most obvious danger is the height of the road: at the highest point, 550 is over 2 miles above sea level.
California & Arizona’s I-15
This stretch of highway is fairly popular because it connects Southern California to Las Vegas. Obviously, that means this remote desert highway gets a lot of traffic. While there is not much about it that might seem dangerous to a casual observer, the nature of who is on the road means this highway receives an unusual amount of DUI fatalities. There is also an incredible amount of death from speeding, as city drivers are lulled into a false sense of security on long stretches of wide-open road.
California’s Route 138
Colloquially known as “the Widowmaker,” this curvy highway runs through the northeast portion of Los Angeles County, from I-15 to Palmdale. It averages over 10 fatalities annually due to its steep grade and twisty roads. While some of the road has been improved since 2006, 138 once was the location for 56 deaths and 875 injuries in a 5-year span. Unsurprisingly, Californians have also nicknamed it the “California deathway.”
When over 2 million vehicles travel on a given stretch of road per day, accidents are almost inevitable. However, the sheer amount of vehicles also increases the stakes of driving—distracted drivers are more likely to strike another vehicle, and drowsy drivers are especially dangerous. The width of this route also increases to an incredible 18 lanes when I-285 intersects with I-85, creating hazardous confusion in drivers who are not paying as much attention as they should.
If you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident on any of these roads, or anywhere in the nation, we encourage you to contact our skilled lawyers today. We offer 100% free consultations where we can discuss your legal options. Contact us today to take the first step toward recovery.