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The 7 Deadliest Highways In North America (And How To Stay Safe On Them)

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Truck driving can be a pretty risky business, especially when it comes to driving along the many highways in North America.

Deadliest Highways In North America

All highways are potentially dangerous, but in this article we’re taking a look at a list of the ones that are especially risky:

Highway 10, Arizona

This highway is 150 miles long and stretches from Phoenix to the border with California. There are 85 deaths per year on average on Highway 10, meaning someone loses their lives on this stretch every 4.5 days.

Highway 2, Montana

The location of this highway contributes in a large way to its reputation. The vast stretch of land on this highway offers the temptation for many motorists to test out the speed of their cars and, naturally, accidents occur. When they do, help takes a while to arrive because of the remote location. This is another contributing factor to the fatality rate.

Highway 550, Colorado

Highway 550 passes through the San Juan Mountains and does not offer the protection of guardrails leaving vehicles susceptible to falling snow and debris. Additionally there are no shoulders, so accidentally veering off the side could have fatal consequences due to the steep slopes.

James Dalton Highway, Alaska

This highway will test any truck driver’s skills. Poor road conditions, rocks, and plummeting temperatures (which can get as cold as -62 degrees Celsius) make this highway a no-go for average drivers. It’s best not to travel along this road if you don’t have to. Otherwise, make sure to be well prepared in the event of a breakdown.

Highway 17, South Carolina

Its peak and valley shape make for an adventurous ride, but that does not make any less dangerous. It’s situated between forests with sharp turns, narrow lanes and blind curves, not to mention occasional animal crossings. This is an especially dangerous road for a truck due to its narrow length, making it difficult to navigate for even the most experienced truckers.

Route 138, California

This highway is nicknamed “death road” due to its high fatality rate, especially prior to 2000. Since then there have been improvements on the road, but it is still risky to drive there.

Highway 401, Ontario (Canada)

This highway often oscillates between dangerous driving and gridlock traffic. During the fall and winter months the weather conditions are poor, leading to accidents that are often fatal. The worst pileup was in 1999, involving 87 vehicles and eight fatalities.

How to Stay Safe on Any Road

As dangerous as these roads are, there are precautions drivers can take to protect themselves. These are things that are common knowledge, but that often go overlooked:

Always watch your blind spots. You shouldn’t trust motorists to know or follow the rules when driving near trucks. Always ensure you have plenty of room when merging or changing lanes, and when in doubt, wait it out. It’s better to take your time in moving over than to jump the gun and cause an accident.

Have a first aid kit. This is especially important when you are driving in remote areas where helps takes longer to reach. It might mean the difference between life and death.

Prepare for bad weather. Take extra precautions in bad weather by dressing warm and driving at safe speeds. If you need to change lanes, let your blinker run for an extra length of time.

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