As a truck driver, you know that navigating America’s highways can be a challenge, but some roads are notoriously more difficult than others. Whether you’re hauling freight or just enjoying a scenic drive, it’s best to avoid the worst highways in America if you can. Not only can these roads be stressful and time-consuming, but they can also be dangerous.
Which Highways Rank as the Worst for Truckers?
Truck drivers have a heavy load to haul, and usually a tight schedule to adhere to. This makes their trip challenging as is.
But depending on where the road takes them, the journey can gain a whole new level of difficulty. This is especially true if you go through one of these areas:
· Highway 2 in Montana: This road has earned its rough reputation through a record number of accidents. The 760-mile stretch can seem a lot longer when you’re trudging through it.
· Interstate 95 in Connecticut: This 1,900-mile interstate also sees its fair share of accidents. Specifically among some short stretches near big cities, tractor trailer wrecks are prominent.
· Highway 550 in Colorado: The Million Dollar Highway has probably seen damages total this amount, thanks to its twisting and turning topography that makes maneuvering difficult, especially for trucks.
Many other roads could be added to this list. Take Dalton Highway in Alaska, which is not only tough to maneuver on but lacks exits, making it hard for emergency services to respond – sometimes helicopters are needed to lift out accident victims.
There’s also Interstate 10 in Arizona, where a combination of high traffic and areas without barriers makes for very hazardous conditions.
Highways Synonymous with Danger
Other highways are so hazardous they’ve been nicknamed accordingly. Route 285 in West Texas is dubbed “Death Highway,” for the large number of fatal accidents, many of which involve tankers carrying oil from nearby basins.
The Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap Road in North Carolina sees many thrill-seeking bikers travel it for the excitement of the twists and turns. But this makes it a place where accidents are very common.
What Makes a Highway Dangerous to Truckers?
There are many conditions which can put truckers at risk on the road. Even if a driver is safe and they’re piloting a properly maintained rig. Some elements are just out of their control.
For example, many routes are known for bad weather. Snow and ice are trouble for truckers, but the danger also extends to warm areas since rain can be just as hazardous if a truck loses traction. Wind is also particularly troubling, since it can sway a trailer wildly along the road.
Infrastructure design also plays a massive part in a route’s safety or lack thereof. As mentioned above, some conditions can make a route more worrisome to drivers than others. These include:
· Topography and Design: Many roads are known for their twists and turns. While some drivers may get extra money for taking these tough journeys, it also takes some serious skill to maneuver around those tough curves. A lack of guardrails raises the risk even higher.
· Exits and Connectivity: Not only are exits important for assistance to arrive in the event of an accident, but they’re also helpful if a driver gets turned around and needs to readjust. If a road isn’t well connected to the surrounding routes, it can be an inconvenience and even a danger.
· Placement and Traffic: Sometimes it’s simply the location of a route that makes it dangerous. Highways between big cities can face massive congestion, especially if they were built before the population swelled up in those areas. Particularly for trucks, there’s little room for error.
When a driver finds out these conditions are in place, even if the route doesn’t have a reputation like the ones we named above, it’s best to avoid them. But what’s the best way to steer clear of these highways so you can protect yourself?
How to Plan Your Route and Avoid Trouble
The best way to protect yourself on the road is to plan your route carefully and avoid trouble spots whenever possible. Research your route online, ask other truckers for advice, and stay up to date on weather conditions, construction, and traffic patterns. If you do find yourself on a difficult highway, maintain focus, adjust your speed if necessary, and inform your dispatch of any changes.
The best way to protect yourself on the road is to plan your route carefully and avoid trouble spots whenever possible. Research your route online, ask other drivers for advice, and stay up to date on weather conditions, construction, and traffic patterns. If you do find yourself on a difficult highway, maintain focus, adjust speed accordingly, and inform your dispatch of any changes.
What Happens if You Can’t Avoid Them
If you do end up having to go through one of these routes, don’t panic – remember, many drivers make the trip through just fine.
Simply maintain proper driving habits like complete focus on the road and an awareness of other drivers. You may also want to lower your speed and inform your dispatch in advance about this adjustment – speaking of which, it helps to have a supportive environment.
No matter where you’re driving, you’re never alone with Trans Lines. Our 24/7 roadside assistance provides you with guidance, support, and a trusted contact in case you ever run into trouble. Combined with our other perks, this makes our company a great place to work. Want to apply? Contact us today.