You better have good insurance before you brave one of the 10 deadliest roads in the US
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As road hazards plague the nation, certain roads have become notoriously dangerous.
Here are the 10 deadliest roads in the US, based on a study of government data from 2019, the latest year available. The roads are ranked by the number of deaths per 100 miles.
If you drive any of these highways regularly, keep your wits about you - and make sure you have a good insurance policy to fall back on.
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10. U.S. 41
Gary R Ennis Photos/Shutterstock
The only non-interstate highway on the list, US 41, runs southwest of Michigan's Upper Peninsula through Milwaukee; Chicago; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta down to Miami.
At the north end, blizzards and ice ravage the road. And at the southern end you have Hillsborough County in Florida, which has the highest road fatality rate in the country.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 141 fatal accidents and 7.02 fatalities per 100 miles along the U.S. 41 in 2019.
I-80 is one of the longest freeways in the United States, stretching 2,900 miles from San Francisco to Teaneck, New Jersey.
The combination of high speed limits, heavy trailer truck traffic, and high winds in certain areas make I-80 a particularly dangerous road.
In 2019, the highway had 7.21 deaths per 100 miles and a total of 209 fatalities.
I-70 stretches east-west from Utah to Maryland, passing through Denver, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
In 2019 there were 158 fatalities, or 7.35 fatalities per 100 miles.
Certain parts of the freeway -- like the section that goes through Colorado -- have steep grades, sharp turns, and severe weather. The scenery is beautiful, but don't try to take a picture along the way.
I-40 stretches east-west from Barstow, California to Wilmington, North Carolina and passes through Albuquerque, New Mexico; Oklahoma City; Nashville; and Raleigh, North Carolina, on the way.
It was the highway with the second highest total number of deaths, 253, but because of its length, it only gets 9.89 deaths per 100 miles.
It has been ranked as one of the most dangerous freeways in almost every state it passes through due to the sheer number of drivers using it, especially in the summer.
Interstate 15 winds its way from Sweetgrass, Montana, through Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles down to San Diego.
Although the stretch between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is a straight line in the desert that allows drivers to see for miles, it's regularly cited as one of the deadliest passes in the country due to speeding and other wrongdoing.
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The total death toll was 158, which is fewer than many other highways on the list. But since it travels a relatively short distance, that's 11.02 deaths per 100 miles.
I-35 stretches north-south from Duluth, Minnesota down to Laredo, Texas.
Many of the 197 deaths (that's 12.56 per 100 miles) occurred in Texas, where I-35 cuts through San Antonio, Dallas and Austin, three of the nation's most populous cities.
It is also a common route for semi-trucks, whose large mass can cause serious accidents.
I-75 begins near the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan and runs southwest to Miami, hitting Detroit, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Tampa and several other major cities along the way.
Many of the 237 interstate fatalities (13.27 per 100 miles) occurred at either end of the interstate -- Michigan's slick winter roads and Tampa's accident-prone roads.
I-5 is the main freeway that runs north-south along the west coast. In 2019 there were 186 fatalities, or 13.47 fatalities per 100 miles.
The 18-wheeler shared route is the only continuous highway that touches both the Canadian and Mexican borders, beginning in Blaine, Washington and ending in San Ysidro, California.
California's massive population naturally means traffic, and I-5 spans the entire length of the state, passing Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
I-20 is a short but deadly freeway that runs east-west through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
The highway is only about 1,539 miles long - but with 208 deaths, that becomes an alarming rate of 13.52 deaths per 100 miles.
An important factor? The route intersects several high-traffic areas including Dallas; Jackson, Mississippi; and Atlanta.
Interstate 95 begins at the Canadian border in Maine and travels through Boston, New York City, Baltimore and Jacksonville, Florida before terminating in Miami.
Think of it as the East Coast bookend to the West Coast I-5.
It is highest in both total deaths (284) and deaths per 100 miles (14.88) -- in large part due to severe Northeast winters and a string of accidents along Florida's east coast.
How to protect yourself
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Even if you don't drive one of these 10 roads regularly, there are more deaths across the country, with an estimated 20,160 people killed in the first half of 2021, according to the US Department of Transportation. That's up 18.4% year over year, the largest jump on record.
You will want to do whatever it takes to reduce your chances of getting into a wreck.
Yes, that means keeping a good distance from the car in front, being more alert at night, not multitasking behind the wheel, and leaving early so you're not in a rush.
But no matter how good you drive, blasting around in 3,500 pounds of metal comes with risks. That's what car insurance is for.
However, in some states, minimum insurance doesn't help you much if you get into a serious accident. Before you head out, make sure you've read through your policy to make sure you have a feel for what it covers - and what it doesn't.
What if you're not satisfied with the coverage you're getting at your price? It's time to look for a better policy.
While most insurers examine the same details to calculate your premiums, they each have their own proprietary (and secret) methods of assessing your details. This means that you should shop around and compare multiple offers from different providers to have the best chance of getting the coverage you need - at a price you can be happy with.
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This article is informational only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without any guarantee.
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