Here are four of the deadliest highways in the US, as well as a few tips on how to tackle them and still make it home in one piece.
With more than 28,000 miles of land spanning from east to west, the U.S. highway system offers some of the most exciting and scenic thoroughfares in the world. To Americans, the term “road trip” brings to mind thoughts of good tunes, open air, serenity and the occasional Slim Jim. But not all road trips are relaxing and serene.
The U.S. is home to some of the most treacherous and dangerous roads known to man. Here are four of the most deadly roadways in America, as well as a few tips on how to tackle them and still make it home in one piece.
Interstate 285, which circles the city of Atlanta, is not technically the most fatal highway in all the land. But when the numbers are crunched into fatalities per each 10-mile stretch, it ranks as No. 1 of the deadliest highways. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows Interstate 285 is one of America’s deadliest freeways. I-285 saw 26 fatal wrecks (second only to Florida’s Interstate 92) and 29 total deaths in 2013. That number may not be startling to everyone. But when considering the length of the highway, that’s 3.5 deaths for every 10 miles, with Interstate 4 reporting three fatalities for every 10 miles.
There are several theories concerning what makes I-285 so dangerous. For starters, there’s the Tom Moreland Interchange, an 18-lane freeway informally known as “Spaghetti Junction, where the I-285 merges with I-85. The confusing and jumbled stretch of highway can often overwhelm out-of-town drivers. Additionally, I-85 sees more than 2 million vehicles on its asphalt per day, many of them tractor trailers, which some believe to be a contributing factor to the high number of accidents. That’s because drivers of smaller vehicles must often change lanes to pass these slow-moving vehicles. As if those two issues were not enough, Interstate 285 is often covered in snow.
If you are driving around Atlanta, know the lay of the (highway) land and never pass a tractor trailer on your right.
One of the longest interstates in the country, Interstate 10 spans all the way from Florida to California, and crosses many routes and highways along the way. Though there are plenty of tricky and perilous parts along the way, the stretch of highway from the California border to Phoenix is perhaps most perilous. This 150-mile section runs through the desolate desert and tallied a total of 85 fatalities in one year, making the I-10 one of the deadliest highways across the US.
If you’re traveling through the desert terrain, make sure your vehicle’s fluids are topped off. Pulling off to the side of the road, particularly at night, increases the likelihood of an accident.
Officially known as the deadliest highway in the United States, the roughly 400-mile stretch of Interstate 92 running north from Miami to the Georgia border has a rate of nearly two fatalities per mile, when measured over a five-year period. At its peak, the highway had 12 open lanes of traffic, but is still overcrowded and constantly busy. Add to the mix the state of Florida’s reputation for extreme weather and a number of out-of-town drivers and you have tragedy waiting to happen.
Do not drive uninsured. I-92 experiences so many traffic collisions that just this section of interstate alone has a state-designated attorney eager to find someone at fault.
Million Dollar Highway
U.S. Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway, is one of the country’s most beautiful routes, as parts of it winds through the scenic Rocky Mountains. Twelve miles of one 25-mile highway stretch were actually carved into the Rockies in the 1880s and were designed for the transportation of ore. Though those 12 miles are breathtakingly gorgeous, one wrong turn will take you right off a cliff and into a jagged ravine. From Ouray and continuing through to Uncompahgre Gorge, there are no guardrails in sight — nothing between you and the bottom of the canyon.
In an area like this, with tight curves and a steep gradient, your vehicle had better be equipped with ultra, high-performance tires for sharpened steering response and high-speed control.
Taking a Road Trip? Be Prepared for the Deadliest Highways in the US
Though America’s highways may offer unbelievably panoramic landscapes, these scenic sights may come at a high price. Make sure you and your vehicle are ready before hitting America’s open roads to ensure you will have an exciting and safe journey.
There is a car accident every 60 seconds somewhere in the world, according to data from The National Highway Traffic Administration. It’s estimated that there are at least 5.25 million car crashes around the globe on a yearly basis.
While car accidents like fender-benders and side-swipes are inevitable, there are a few things you can do after the fact to make it better. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Take Notes About Your Car Accident
You will probably be quite shaken up after being in an accident no matter the severity of the crash. But you must do your best to take detailed notes while at the scene. If you are in need of medical care, however, seek help and assistance first. Later on these notes will help your case if you have to go to court.
Record as much as you can, such as who was driving, where they were driving to, what direction they were driving, what led up to the accident, your speed, the current road conditions, any distractions like texting and any witnesses to the accident. Also take note of information about the other driver including their name and car insurance information.
2. Document With Photos
In addition to taking notes at the scene, it is wise to document the accident with photos. This is where your smartphone comes in handy. Smartphones like the Galaxy S6 have high-resolution cameras can capture the detailed damage ranging from large dents to faint scratches.
Any photos you take strengthen your case and will help you get fair compensation after your accident. If you can safely do so, get photos of the exterior and inside damage of all of the cars involved. Be sure to include shots of all four corners of every car. Also, try to capture the positions of the cars and include any landmarks and traffic lights so people who look at the photos can have a clearer picture. It’s also advised to get photos of the license plates, skid marks, debris and car parts from the accident.
2. Keep Everything
After the accident, keep any and all documentation. This includes anything about the wreck such as bills, receipts and estimates that are related to your car accident. Additionally, it is advised to keep all documentation from rental cars or alternative transportation used because of your car accident, towing fees and all repairs. An insurance claims adjuster can effectively investigate your case and claim with proper documentation if it is provided.
4. Make a Claim
After the dust has settled and it is time to file your claim with your car insurance provider, submit all documentation, notes and photos that you took with a police report. All of the supporting materials you collected will be used in your case. After your report has been submitted and looked at, you will be contacted by an adjuster who may have more questions for you.
For more information about documenting an accident in your home state, visit DMV.org.
Authored by Social Monsters
Everyone knows tires are an essential component of vehicles. They are the only things that come in contact with the road; hence, the working of the vehicle and the safety of the people inside rests on the tires. Monitor your tire pressure to make sure your tires are always in good condition.
The Problem of Under-Inflation
About 90% of breakdowns are caused by under-inflation. Under inflated tires are a common cause of poor tread life and early tire breakdown. Low tire pressure allows excessive heat to build up. This heat can tear down retreads, increase tread wear, and even destroy tire casings, which makes driving risky and shortens tire life.
When tires are under inflated, excessive flexing is caused on the sidewalls. This causes additional strain, which builds up more internal heat. The U.S. National Traffic and Safety Administration found that about 1 in 3 cars or light trucks were being driven with at least one under inflated tire, thus causing hazardous conditions.
Drawbacks of Under- Inflation
- Impact on Mileage – Tread wear decreases by 5% for a continuous 10% of over-inflation. If your tire is constantly under- inflated by 20%, you will witness a tire life reduction of 30% and, for every 10 PSI under inflation, your fuel consumption will increase by 0.5%. So, you can imagine the amount you would be spending to make up for the damage caused by under-inflated tires. However, with proper pressure levels for your tires, mileage is bound to improve.
- Reduces Fuel Efficiency – Due to rolling resistance, under-inflated tires consume greater amounts of fuel. A study by the American Department of Transportation showed that by keeping tires in good condition, the U.S. could save more than 4.2 gallons of fuel per day. Imagine that!
- Incurs Heavy Maintenance Costs – You should regularly check tire pressure because about 36% of your vehicle’s maintenance cost rests on its tires. Everyone tries to side-step this time consuming procedure, but this can be dangerous. Sometimes, assuming that if some tires are good, all are, the under inflated tires end up being skipped. It really makes no sense to ignore the direct cost consequence of poorly maintained tires.
Tire Pressure Tips to Remember
- To ensure the greatest tire life, keep tires properly inflated. Tires of small vehicles should be checked a minimum of once a month, while larger vehicles should be checked more often. Don’t guess or thump; measure with a quality tire gauge.
- Vehicles with dual tires have a hidden tire, which is difficult to reach and easier to neglect. If the inside tire is flat, it can rupture or over heat. Hence, checking its pressure is necessary.
- For multi-tire motor vehicles, use a wireless sensor to monitor each individual tire. Externally mounted tire sensors are easier to install and remove.
- Check tire pressure when tires are cold and, preferably, change them every 3-5 years.
- Change all tires (or at least two) at the same time.
Monitoring your tire pressure and temperature in this manner will help increase tire life and fuel efficiency, which will ultimately lead to your safety.
Author: Ron Burg writes for actiongatortire.com
We all hope that we will never have to deal with a mechanical malfunction while behind the wheel of a vehicle, but every driver should know what to do during an emergency such as when the brakes fail. While these situations might be rare, taking a little extra time to learn how to properly control a vehicle with no brakes will help you avoid a catastrophic accident.
Do Not Panic When the Brakes Fail
The situation might seem frightening at first, but you must stay focused, alert, and calm. Panicking will only increase your risk of making a mistake that could result in serious injuries. You can begin by simply taking your foot off the gas and glancing in all directions for nearby cars or pedestrians. If you have cruise control on, then you should calmly switch it off before doing anything else.
Check for Brake Pedal Blockage
In some situations, drivers are not able to press the brake because there is an object under the pedal. When brake pads or brake lines are damaged, the brake pedal generally feels soft or mushy. A stiff brake pedal is not typically the result of a mechanical problem. You should try to feel for any obstructions under the brake with your feet instead of taking your eyes off the road to look down. At no point should you lean down or look down to see if there is an object under the pedal.
Downshift Into Lower Gears
Downshifting can be done with automatic transmissions as well as manual transmissions. For an automatic vehicle, a driver should start by slowly shifting into the third or second gear. Once your vehicle has begun to lose momentum, you can then move to the first gear. By doing this, your engine’s transmission will actually become a brake. The exact same process can be done with manuals by slowly lowering gears until the vehicle comes to a stop. When doing this, you should remember that putting the vehicle in the lowest gear right away could compromise your control so make sure to downshift in stages.
Pump the Brakes
Many modern vehicles have anti-lock brakes that essentially “pump” the brake lines automatically. For those who have a vehicle without anti-lock brakes, gently pumping the brakes could build up enough pressure to stop the vehicle. Three or four pumps should create enough pressure in the line for the brakes to begin working. If the vehicle does not slow down after three or four pumps, then you should move on to using the parking brake.
Use the Parking Brake
The parking brake is designed to keep a vehicle from rolling down a hill after it is parked, but it can also be used when your brakes fail. Applying the parking brake must be done slowly and methodically as well. Those who pull on the handle as hard as they can, risk losing control of the vehicle. Parking brakes are typically nothing more than a second brake pad that applies pressure to one or more wheels. They can usually stop a vehicle if the brakes fail, although bear in mind that it will take longer than usual to come to a stop because they only stop the rear wheels.
Work Your Way Out of Traffic
Now that the vehicle has begun to slow down, you must try to work your way out of traffic. The best way to do this is to turn on your emergency lights to show the other drivers that you do not have complete control over your vehicle. When you are making your way toward an exit or off of the road, you should use your lights and horns to alert the other drivers. If the situation calls for it, then you might need to use guardrails, grass, or soft sand to slow down your vehicle with friction.
Pull Over to a Safe Spot
The vehicle should not be turned off until you are at a complete stop. Attempting to turn off your vehicle before you are at a stop could affect the power steering and make it difficult to turn. Drivers should avoid parking their vehicles around corners or blind spots if possible. Even if the brakes begin working again, you must not attempt to drive your vehicle. The entire brake system must be thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic before getting back on the road.
The single best way to avoid a dangerous situation where your brakes fail is to have your car inspected and serviced as often as possible. As a general rule, drivers should have their brake pads inspected every time they change their oil. Depending on how often you drive, this maintenance might be necessary every 3,000 miles. Drivers should also be wary of any warning signs that their brakes might be damaged or worn. This includes a “soft” brake pedal, squealing sounds, and shuddering when the brakes are applied.
Author: David Moss is an automotive writer from Detroit
Back to School Season: Make Safety Your Priority this Fall
The time to go back to school is just around the corner and school buses will be picking up kids and young people will be scurrying across streets to get to class before the bell rings. Traffic increases and parents are often guilty of running yellow lights or speeding, as they try to drop off kids then make their way through traffic and onward to work. Likewise, young adults will be heading back to college or going off to uni for the first time. Whether you’re a parent, K-12 student or university student, back to school season means both drivers and pedestrians need to be vigilant on and off the roads. Here’s how to stay safe and prepared when getting back to school.
Driving Around Neighborhoods and School Zones
According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who die in bus-related incidents are ages 4-7 and it happens when they are walking. They might be hit by the bus or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. If you’re driving behind a bus, allow greater following distance than when driving behind a car. And don’t try to pass it when it stops. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Keep an eye out for children and college kids riding bikes, too. They might not always follow road rules, yet they do have the “right-of-way.”
Keep an emergency first aid kit in your car at all times. In the event you or someone else is hurt, call 911. You may be able to use items in your safety kit to tend to minor wounds or use one of the safety tools to possibly save someone’s life.
Back to School: Campus Safety for Young Adults
As college students return to campus, safety is on the minds of their parents and it should be on the mind of university students, too. Some statistics state 1 in 4 women will be the target of sexual assault during their college career. Pepper Spray is an essential tool that helps students ward off an attacker. When sprayed, it irritates the eyes and lungs, causing pain in the attacker and giving the targeted victim time to escape. Small yet powerful, it will attach to your keychain and sprays over 10 feet, making it the perfect device to keep students safe from any potential violence this school year.
It’s also a good idea to also carry a personal alarm, like defendme, which can be heard from a distance. This can deter your would-be attacker and also alert students in nearby dorms, parking lots, or pathways that something is wrong.
You can learn more about our emergency kits and personal safety products, defendme and protectme, by visiting our product page.