Truck drivers deserve every penny while delivering goods around the country. Crammed roads feature construction, distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, and other hazards – on a good day. Some U.S. roads take driving a semi-truck to the next level.
Here are the top 10 most stressful roads for truck drivers
1) I-95 in Miami, Florida
The Sun Sentinal reports I-95 in South Florida is the deadliest highway in the state. Florida Transportation Department notes that segments of I-95, especially those in Southeast Florida, have as many as 12 lanes. According to state transportation data, some 312,000 vehicles a day whiz through that area, traffic records show — 89,300 more than it should. Many blame low starting salaries for troopers and insufficient law enforcement to vehicle ratio for increases in accidents.
2) I-85 in Atlanta, Georgia
I-85 covers 180 miles, running northeast to southeast, and goes right through the heart of Atlanta. Completed in 1960, I-85 remains a link between Montgomery, Alabama, and Richmond, VA. According to Spaulding Injury Law, fatal crashes average about one every two weeks.
3) I-285 in Atlanta, Georgia
Completed in 1962, I-285 circles Atlanta, GA, and crosses I-85 and I-75 twice. I-285 covers sixty-three miles, and as many as 13,000 semi-truck accidents have been reported in one year. More than two million drivers use I-285 daily. In 2013, 29 accident-related fatalities involving motorcycle accidents and truck accidents happened on Atlanta’s most populated interstate. Many complain sharp turns, frequent exits, lack of lighting, and poor signage contribute to why I-285 is so dangerous.
4) I-75 in Atlanta, Georgia
Rounding out Atlanta’s most dangerous roads is I-75. As the only significant connection from Florida to the mid-America, I-75 intersects I-85 in the downtown area and intersects I-285 twice. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System claims Georgia’s deadliest highway is I-75, with 111 deaths during the summer months. Many blame speeding as a major cause of accidents between cars and semi-trucks.
5) I-10 in Los Angeles, California
In addition to connecting the west to Jacksonville and Florida, the I-10 freeway connects east to west in southern California and runs through Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Bernardino. Fatalities on I-10 are due to the high volume of traffic, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and alcohol consumption. Los Angeles County is among the country’s most productive and populated areas forcing thousands of semi-trucks to travel with cars each day.
6) I-10 in Phoenix, Arizona
I-10 runs for 329 miles in Arizona and right through downtown Phoenix, the sixth-largest city in America. Research by ValuePenguin claims I-10 ranks as the second darkest highway in the country and the fourth in the drunk driver category. The report states about 20 percent of fatal accidents occurred in Arizona, making the Grand Canyon State the second-deadliest state along the I-10.
7) US-99 in Northern California
Twisting roads, elevation changes, steep inclines, and quickly turning weather make the US-99 in Northern California dangerous. Google Maps shows 6% grade changes and 20 mph 90-degree turns. Some threads on trucker sites advise avoiding the area if possible and warn that US-99 is only for the most experienced drivers. On top of difficult driving conditions, truckers have to deal with navigating the same roadway.
8) Highway 2 in Montana
The wide-open spaces of Montana make Highway 2 unpredictable. High winds, blowing snow, black ice, and remote locations to emergency services can stress experienced truck drivers. Long straightaways lead drivers to speed in addition to not wearing seatbelts. If anything should happen, help may take 80 minutes or more to arrive.
9) Highway 550 in Colorado
Highway 550, also known as The Million Dollar Highway, runs through Colorado and New Mexico. Much of the road winds in and around the mountains and elevates way above sea level. Changing temperatures, steep drop-offs, little or no shoulders, and guardrails make The Million Dollar Highway seem less glamourous and more dangerous.
10) I-17 (Flagstaff to Phoenix AZ)
I-17 cuts a path through a 5,000-foot elevation change between Flagstaff and Phoenix, AZ. With just two lanes, this stretch of I-17 features steep inclines that turn into steep declines. Cars travel well above the speed limits as trucks reduce speed during the climb – creating a dangerous mix of slow and fast vehicles. For parts of the year, snow and ice accumulate on I-17, increasing the chance of something going wrong. Like Highway 550 in Colorado, emergency vehicles have a tough time getting to the scene when an accident happens.
Today’s truck drivers deserve a lot of credit for what it takes to deliver goods safely and on time. Most car drivers can choose not to take a trip or wait until the weather clears. Truckers do not have that luxury. So the next time you see a truck driver in traffic or harsh weather, give him or her a nod of gratitude.
Do you know of other stressful roads for truck drivers? Leave a comment.
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