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The Most Dangerous Roads in America
Driving is dangerous business. A momentary distraction—answering your cell phone, looking at a map, telling the kids to stop fighting with one another—is all it takes for you to lose focus, take your eyes off the road and get into an accident.
But not all roads are alike, and some are more dangerous than others for both drivers and pedestrians.
Deadliest States for Driving
A 2010 Reader's Digest study found that the 10 states with the deadliest roads are:
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
(States are ranked by the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven.)
Most Dangerous Roads
You'll find dangerous roads across the country. In some instances, the junction of two major highways with countless cars merging at high speeds causes accidents. In other cases, local weather conditions—particularly rain and ice—make for slick surfaces. And sometimes natural topography of the land forces roads to follow a twisting, turning path leading to blind curves and sharp drop-offs.
Among the more dangerous roads in the country:
- US Route 19: This highway is 1,377 miles long, but drivers should be particularly concerned about the section that runs through Florida—specifically Pasco County to Pinellas County—which averages 52 deaths a year. With 100 pedestrian deaths during a five-year period, it's also been named the most dangerous road to walk on.
- Interstate 95: Passing through 15 states from Florida to Maine, this highway is the major East Coast thoroughfare and attracts a lot of trucks, buses and passenger cars.
- Interstate 15: Running from San Diego to Montana, this highway passes through a number of major cities, including Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Butte, Mt.
- I-285 at I-85 Interchange: Each day more than two million people drive on Interstate 285, which encircles Atlanta. If you're one of them, use caution when you get to the interchange with Interstate 85; stop-and-go traffic makes it particularly prone to car accidents.
- Interstate 10: The southernmost east-west interstate in the country runs from Santa Monica, Calif., to Jacksonville, Fla.
- Interstate 94: The northernmost east-west interstate runs from Billings, Mt., to Port Huron, Mich., and sees major congestion as it passes through Milwaukee, Chicago and all of Indiana.
- Interstate 5: Stretching from the Washington State-Canada border on the north to San Diego in the south, this interstate takes drivers through Seattle, Sacramento and Los Angeles.
- US Highway 2: You can drive from Washington State to Michigan on this highway, but beware of the stretch through Montana, which has a particularly high number of fatalities each year.
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